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Kabala... Jewish or Greek?

(Part 1)
by Jack Courtis People assume that kabala is Jewish and any other variety is either not possible or not authentic. Is this true? The word kabala is spelt QBL in Hebrew and means something like, "that which is received". Further, most terminology used in kabala is Hebrew and there are numerous books that speak of Jewish kabala. However we need to consider the very close relationship between the Greeks and the Jews after the conquest of Palestine and Egypt by Alexander the Great. This relationship lasted from approximately 332 BCE until at least the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, by the Romans. In this nearly 400 year period a number of developments occurred which are important in answering our question:

! ! ! ! !

The Jews of Egypt lost their ability to read their scriptures in Hebrew. The Torah was translated into Greek for their benefit. This is the Septuagint version. The Jewish philosopher Philo Judeus (his name is Greek and means 'friend of the Jews'), a contemporary of Jesus, wrote an explanation in Greek of the Torah, in which he explained the Jewish scriptures according to Greek philosophy. Another Jewish contemporary of Jesus, Josephus, wrote a number of books including The Wars of the Jews and The Antiquities of the Jews, in Greek so that the Romans could read them. Again, he used Greek philosophy to explain Jewish beliefs. The Greek and Jewish alphabets have a common origin and some commonality in their individual letters. The central notion of kabala is that letters stand for numbers and numbers can be 'translated' into letters. There is some evidence that this notion was given by the Greeks to the Jews. This concept is called gematria and comes from the Greek word geometria (geometry). In his Dialogues, Plato hints at gematria as a means of direct knowledge of Reality. Another kabalistic concept is called notariqon and comes from Latin, not Hebrew. The Romans were heavily influenced by the Greeks. In terms of kabala itself, technical words such as Macroprosopos (the Vast Countenance), Microprosopos (the Lesser Countenance) and Tetragrammaton (the Four-lettered Name of God), are Greek. So are the names of the archangels Metatron and Sandalphon. In the New Testament and Gnostic scriptures, the technical Christian words and titles of Christ, are kabalistic. There is considerable scholarship available on this point. The primary example is The Apocalypse of John . The entire New Testament is written in Greek. The concept of the Tree of Life as a diagram, is a Greek concept. It emerges naturally from geometry, which is a Greek mathematical discipline. Both Pythagoras and Plato used geometry to teach their more abstract material. It is contrary to Orthodox Judaism because it portrays images of God. This is blasphemous to Orthodox Jews.

! ! ! !

The central kabalistic teaching is the doctrine of emanation. It has no place in traditional Jewish thought. However, it is a central teaching of Plato and the Neo-Platonists. We are not saying that kabala is a Greek invention. There is certainly a Jewish kabala. However, there is a genuine Greek kabala that emerged in the New Testament and passed into the Gnostic scriptures. Subsequently, it merged into the Hermetic Revival of the Renaissance and together with Hebrew kabala, appeared in the Rosicrucian Manifestoes of 1614-16 CE. Today, kabala appears in Jewish form, but has a Greek substance. If we understand this principle, it enriches our ability to use kabala as a means to spiritual liberation because it opens up the whole wisdom and knowledge of the Mystery tradition.

Kabala... Jewish or Greek?


(Part 2)
by Jack Courtis

Let us look more closely at the question of the ethnic origin of kabala. The Apocalypse of John (Book of Revelations), is the connection between Greek and Jewish kabala on the one hand and the hermetic tradition on the other. It comes from the famous statement of Christ that he is the Alfa and Omega. This occurs in Ch 1, but we must observe carefully that there are 3 references in v 8, v 11 and v 17. In the expression "I am the Alfa and the Omega, beginning and ending", there are 10 words. We now must go forward in the text and observe that in v 11 the expression "I am the Alfa and the Omega the first and the last" has 12 words, and in v 17 the expression "I am the first and the last" has 7 words. The concept of first/last, beginning/ending, is repeated 3 times. What do we have? The number system of Genesis Ch 1, ( 10 , 3 , 7 , 12), is repeated in the Apocalypse Ch 1. Let us see this in Greek just to make sure:

10 words ) ) ) ) 12 words ) repeated 3 times ) ) ) 7 words )

Why is this the same as the number system in Genesis Ch 1? Have you counted how many times the text reads:

! ! ! !

God said, God made, God saw, The remaining references to God?

Have you worked out how this relates to the Tree of Life? Do you see why the number system is the compass and the Tree of Life is the map on the inner journey of life? Do you understand why they lead to liberation? Read on.

Greek Kabala
Part 1
by Jack Courtis
We are familiar with Hebrew kabala to such an extent, that we assume that this is the only kind of kabala there is. Not so.

The basic point about kabala is that in languages that have no symbols for numbers, letters stand for numbers and numbers stand for letters. This was true of both the Greek and Hebrew languages at the time of Christ. The significance of this is that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in Greek. Therefore there was a Hebrew kabala and there was a Greek kabala. Thus a word could be translated into a number and a number could be translated into a word. The classic example of Hebrew kabala is from the Old Testament:

! ! ! !

In Genesis we are told of the Serpent who is called in Hebrew, Nachash . The total numerical value of his name is 358. At the time of Christ, the Jews were expecting the Messiah, whose numerical value is also 358. Thus the Serpent that brings the Fall is also the Messiah who brings the Redemption. But there is more. The number 358 consists of the 3rd , 4th and 5th numbers in the Fibonacci series: 1, 2, 3 , 5 , 8 ,

also known as the golden number. It is the way in which to calculate and draw geometrically, the mean and extreme ratios. In turn, this was one way in which the Greeks taught the abstract principle of the Logos. Further, the numbers 3, 4 and 5, describe the Pythagorean Triangle. Its internal angles are 900, 370 and 530. The Hebrew word mem (water) has the value of 90. This is the "living water" or "elixir of life", of the Rosicrucian Philosophers. In the Confessio Fraternitatis, the Rosicrucians give 37 reasons for their existence. The Hebrew word ehben (stone) has a value of 53. This is the "Stone" of the Rosicrucian alchemists. Finally, the Hebrew name Moses has a value of 345. These are random examples to give you an idea of what is going on.
13, 21, 34, 55, 89|.. This series of numbers is related to the Greek mystical number j

Now for the classic example of Greek kabala in the New Testament, from the Apocalypse of John ch 13 v 18 (King James version): "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." In Greek, the key phrase: "|..kai o ariqmoV autou cxV" (and his number is 666). What does this mean? The Greek numerical value of the entire key phrase is calculated as follows: kai .....o .... ....ariqmoV ............autou ......... ..cxV 31 + 70 + 430 + 1171 + 666 = 2,368 So what? It all depends on whether 2,368 has a specific meaning with theological significance. Try this: Jesus Christ = IhsouV CristoV

= 888 + 1480 = 2,368

This is not the kind of theology that either Jews or Christians are used to. However it points the way to the valid use of kabala as a source of inspiration and revelation. Put simply, both the Old and New Testaments are written in code and it takes a great deal of effort to understand it. However cracking the code brings Wisdom and Understanding in their kabalistic sense. So much has been written about Hebrew kabala that it is not proposed to repeat much of that here. Instead we shall concentrate on Greek kabala in order to gain an appreciation of early Christianity.

The Greek and Hebrew alphabets have a common origin and therefore it is not surprising that we shall find similarities between the two forms of kabala. Thus the Greek and Hebrew Trees of Life have a very similar structure but subtle

differences in their paths. First the Hebrew Tree. Its structure is derived from Genesis Ch 1 where:

There are 10 references to "God said";

There are 3 references to "God made";

There are 7 references to "God saw"; and

There are 12 single references to "God".

Thus there are 10 sefirot, 3 horizontal paths, 7 vertical paths and 12 diagonal paths. The Hebrew Tree of Life is shown below.

The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters and an internal structure of 3 Mothers, 7 Doubles and 12 Singles. The Greek alphabet has 24 letters and an internal structure of 5 alchemical letters, 7 planetary letters and 12 zodiacal letters. The correlation is very close. The difference is that the 3 Hebrew Mothers consist of only 3 alchemical letters: alef (air), mem (water) and shin (fire); whereas the 5 Greek alchemical letters correlate to all 5 elements, aether, air, fire, water, earth. Thus the Hebrew scheme lacks the activating principle of aether and the grounding principle of earth.

Both the Greek and Hebrew Trees have 10 spheres: in Greek sferes (plural) and sfera (singular); while in Hebrew sefirot (plural) and sefira (singular). Notice the similarities? We have seen the derivation of the 10 sefirot of the Hebrew Tree. How are the 10 spheres of the Greek Tree derived? In the Apocalypse of John 1:8, Christ says: Egw eimi to ... A kai . to .. W ..... arch ... kai teloV I am the Alfa and the Omega beginning and ending

is more properly translated as "First Principle". Further, teloV means "ending" in the Aristotelian sense of "purpose". That is in the First Principle there is the purpose for which the "I am" exists. All of this becomes intelligible on the Greek Tree of Life.
How many words do you see? There are 10. For reasons that we shall see in Part 2 of this series, arch

Both Trees have 3 pillars with similar meanings. We shall deal with that topic separately.

Let us now turn our attention to the 10 spheres of the Greek Tree of Life and its 24 paths. The names of the spheres and pillars are adopted from the New Testament and the Greek Orthodox liturgy written by St John Chrysostomos in the 5 th century CE. The attributions of the paths are taken from early Greek Christian and Gnostic sources. Hidden subtly in the structure of the paths is the "ascent of the soul" that is explained in great detail in the Gnostic Books of Ieou. Look for the order of the planets. It is the Ptolemaic order and is quite different from the order on the Hebrew Tree. This difference points to a different theology and a different way to salvation.

There are three issues for us to consider in our personal search for salvation, using the Greek Tree of Life:

1.The attribution of the Greek letters to alchemy and astrology means that we can translate the titles of the Greek spheres
into our personal alchemical and astrological functions. This is because of the Hermetic principle of: as Above, so Below. The Tree of Life is a kosmic blueprint for our internal spiritual structure.

2.The ascent of the soul that is portrayed on the Tree, gives us a clue as to how to direct our lives with the clear intention
of influencing our future incarnations.

3.We can relate the spheres and paths of the Greek Tree to the Gospels and derive a new appreciation of theology.

These issues will be taken up in the following articles of this series.

Finally, the relationship between Greek and Hebrew kabala is analogous to the relationship of the Fibonacci spirals on a sunflower head. They are very similar, but different and need to be seen together in order to be understood properly. Observe the diagram below.

We shall get a true appreciation of the subtle nature of the scriptures when we see how the two Trees of Life interact.

Greek Kabala
Part 2
In the previous article, we mentioned the translation of the names of the Greek spheres, into their alchemical and astrological attributions, so that we can gain a deeper understanding of them. To do that, we must know what the attributions

are. The table below shows us those attributions and reveals even more subtle relationships. The Greek alphabet in both upper and lower case (and its English transliteration) is attributed as follows:

Name Alfa

Greek A,a

English
A, a

Number
1

Attribute
Moon

Meaning
1 st chakra

Beta

B,b

B, b

Aries

Head

Gamma

G,g

G, g

Taurus

Throat

Delta

D,d

D, d

Gemini

Shoulders

Epsilon

E,e

E, e

Mercury

2 nd chakra

Zeta

Z,z

Z, z

Cancer

Chest

Eta

H,h

I, i

Venus

3 rd chakra

Theta

Q,q

Th, th

Earth

* see below

Iota

I,i

I, I

10

Sun

4 th chakra

Kappa

K,k

K, k

20

Leo

Heart

Lambda

L,l

L, l

30

Virgo

Stomach

Mi

M,m

M, m

40

Libra

Intestines

Ni

N,n

N, n

50

Scorpio

Genitals

Xi

X,x

X, x

60

Water

* see below

Omicron

O,o

O, o

70

Mars

5 th chakra

Pi

P,p

P, p

80

Sagittarius

Thighs

Rho

R,r

R, r

100

Capricorn

Knees

Sigma

S,s

S, s

200

Aquarius

Ankles

Tav

T,t

T, t

300

Pisces

Feet

Ipsilon

U,u

I, I

400

Jupiter

6 th chakra

Fi

F,j

F, f

500

Air

* see below

Chi

C,c

H, h

600

Fire

* see below

Psi

Y,y

Ps, ps

700

Aether

* see below

Omega

W,w

O, o

800

Saturn

7 th chakra

We need to make a number of points in order to gain the maximum benefit from the table:

! !

Pythagoras is credited with attributing numerical values to the Greek alphabet. There are 3 "Is" (eta, iota, ipsilon) and 2 "Os" (omicron, omega). They are pronounced the same but their numerical values are different and therefore give different kabalistic meanings. To make this point clear, in Greek there are 3 grammatically correct ways to spell "Christ": CristoV , CrestoV , CreistoV .

They are all pronounced the same way, however, only one spelling is correct because only one spelling gives the kabalistically correct numerical value of 1,480; CristoV (Christos). !
The numbers 6, 90 and 900 are missing. That is because originally, the Greeks had 27 symbols for numbers that doubled as letters. However by the time of Christ, they only used the 24 letters shown above. The numbers 90 and 900 are not so important for kabalistic calculations, however the number 6 is important. Where there is a

. In English, ST, st. The most important use of these letters as the number 6, is in the word for "Cross", StauroV . The first two letters St are combined and are given the numerical value 6.
need for the number 6, the convention is to use the letters ST , st

! ! !

The astrological attribution of the letters is derived from the Gnostics. We have this information from the Church Father, Irenaeus, in his book Against Heresies. The planetary order is taken from Ptolemys book Tetrabiblos. This book is the basis of modern western astrology. The alchemical attribution is also taken from Pythagoras. Although it is difficult to be certain, it appears that Earth is attributed to what we now refer to as the aetheric body; the subtle connection between the physical body and the soul. Thus Earth is attributed separately from the 12 zodiacal letters that are clearly concerned with the physical body as we understand it. Water is attributed to what he called the "epithymetic soul" which has to do with feelings and emotions. Air is attributed to what he called the "irascible soul" that we now refer to as left brain thinking. We use this as a description for logic and the kind of thinking we do for science. Fire is attributed by him to the "rational soul" that we now refer to as right brain thinking. This has to do with vision, imagination and inspiration. Aether is mysterious because it is the divinity within us. Our society still has no analogy for it. Once the letters are placed on the Greek Tree of Life, we have the basis for a new theology. A hint will be given here. There are 3 groups of letters: 12 zodiacal, 7 planetary, 5 alchemical. There are 3 inner journeys; the combined, the masculine and the feminine. This point will be taken up in a later article.

Let us begin our consideration of theology by looking at the meanings of the spheres on the diagram of the Tree of Life that appears below. Note that the spheres start with Arch (First Principle) as 1 and finish with Basileia (Kingdom) as 10. That is from top to bottom. However the paths begin from the bottom (alfa) and proceed to the top (omega). This is the reverse of the Hebrew Tree of Life, where the paths go from top to bottom. This difference between the Greek and Hebrew Trees, points to a different view of theology and therefore to a different salvation. The view of theology that we shall develop is very much concerned with salvation. Let us look at the Greek Tree below and begin the journey of the spheres.

Sphere 1 - Arch (Arche) First Principle

The word Arche appears inthe opening statement of the Gospel of John. All of creation emanates from this sphere. Great confusion has been generated in the past by the conventional translation of John 1:1. Let us have it in Greek and then in English:

EnarchhnologoV | usually translated as|.."In the beginning was the word|.".

This creates unwarranted confusion because it implies time and therefore a literal historical meaning, instead of a more profound metaphysical meaning. After all, if there is a beginning then time is being measured from some point by someone. To make the confusion even worse, this passage of scripture is compared with Genesis Ch 1 as if they were identical theological statements. They are not. It will take some effort to untangle the mischief, so please stay with us.

The problem is that Greek is a sophisticated and subtle language. English is not comparable. Some metaphysical Greek words are able to carry different nuances of meaning that simply cannot be translated into English. To give you an idea, think of squashing an elephant into a phone booth. It is very difficult. It is equally difficult for translators of the New Testament from Greek into English. The problem is that Arche is capable of having a number of meanings and in fact, it has 16 distinctly different meanings in the New Testament. Used in different contexts, it implies different things. However used in John 1:1, it has only one meaning that makes any theological sense.

Arche is the Causeless Cause and the Unmoved Mover of Aristotle, and also the Monad of Plotinus. It is beyond time and therefore there is no "beginning". It is the eternally present "I am". It is the First Principle, the undifferentiated unity of being. It is the Source of which nothing can be said but from which everything emanates. Time is its creation therefore it is timeless. The Arche of John Ch 1 is not describing the same process as Genesis Ch 1. To revert to Hebrew kabala, John Ch 1 is the ontological level of Emanation while Genesis Ch 1 describes the next level down, Creation.

The confusion is compounded by associating Arche with logos (logoV). This is another Greek word loaded with meaning. The usual translation of logos is "word". Hence the understandable connection with Genesis Ch 1 where God "said" and spoke creation into being. The problem is that in the New Testament, logos is used in 64 different ways. But it gets worse. In terms of Greek philosophy, it has at least 6 metaphysically different meanings that are relevant to John 1:1:

1.Order or pattern;

2.Ratio or proportion;

3.Discourse or articulation;

4.Reason both in the sense of rationality and in the sense of articulating the cause of something;

5.Principle or cause;

6.Mediation or harmony between extremes.

In the above senses, logos is the blueprint of the kosmos. It is the basis for creation and also our own spiritual constitution, hence the hermetic axiom as above so below. This is why the attribution of the Greek alphabet to the Tree of Life gives us a map for the inner journey. The "word" has been differentiated into components that are still part of a unified whole. This means that with our present level of consciousness we can take each component and work with it until we have reached our goal. We can experience God even if we are having trouble understanding him.

In the view of theology that we are developing, the opening words of John 1:1 can be translated thus: "Within the first principle exists the pattern of order|..".

(alfa) is attributed to the Moon and the first chakra. It is the first step of the masculine journey. The full description of the experience of this step is contained in the Apocalypse of John 2:1-7 as the first Letter, to the church of Ephesos. Interestingly, the principal deity of the pagan Greeks of Ephesos was Artemis, the goddess of the Moon. It is significant that the first letter of the title of the first sphere is about beginnings. It connects the Kingdom with the Foundation. The first step is confirmed by both Pagan and Christian sources.
Now let us look at Arch (Arche ) kabalistically, by taking each letter and looking at its meaning. The first letter A

(rho) is attributed to Capricorn and is the path connecting Power and Wisdom on the Tree of Life. No one can deny that power must be exercised with wisdom otherwise the result will be evil and destructive. The third letter c(chi) connects Wisdom with Understanding on the
The second letter r

Tree and is attributed to Fire. This path is related to vision, insight, imagination and inspiration. Surely these are the results of understanding with wisdom and being wise with understanding? This is the fourth step of the feminine journey. The fourth letter h (eta) is attributed to the 3rd chakra and to Venus. This is the third step in the masculine journey and the full description of the experience is in the third Letter of the Apocalypse 2:12-17, to Pergamon. This path connects Greatness and Victory on the Tree. This indeed is a description of the experience.

We now have a formula for understanding the First Principle. We must experience the paths of the Moon, Capricorn, Fire and Venus. It implies that we must travel the paths of the Tree before we can truly comprehend the First Principle. That is as it should be. This experience has to be assimilated in our normal lives in order to be the basis for salvation.

We shall continue to investigate the Greek Tree of Life in subsequent articles. Once we have its outline, we shall consider the 3 journeys: the combined, the masculine and the feminine.

Greek Kabala
Part 3
by Jack Courtis
We are on a journey to salvation, but we need a new view of theology because our old view has failed us. If you dispute this statement, simply ask yourself whether you are "saved". With all the pain in your life, the failures, the disappointments, the hurts, where is your salvation? After 2,000 years of our old view of theology, the world has not advanced morally or spiritually. Where is the worlds salvation? It is time to try something new. Paradoxically, our new view of theology is based on something very old, the Greek kabala of the New Testament and the Greek Tree of Life. Let us continue the journey by looking at the second sphere of Sofia

(Wisdom).

Sphere 2 - Sofia

(Sofia) Wisdom

The word Sofia appears in the New Testament in 6 different contexts. Fortunately for us, its meaning is basically the same: wisdom. But do we really understand what this means? It is easy to accept that Sofia is an emanation from Arche (First Principle). It is self-evident because the First Principle is the source of spiritual light and life. But what are we

actually talking about? In the view of theology, that we are developing, we can use Gnostic sources to assist us and so, we can refer to The Secret Book of John . Here, John describes the emanation from the Monad of 12 projections, the last of which is Sofia. In this text, Wisdom is personified as feminine and she desires to create and does so without the consent of the masculine principle. The mystery of the virgin birth is concealed in this concept. In the Gnostic scripture Thunder-Perfect Mind , a manifestation of Wisdom describes herself as "harlot", "virgin", "mother" and by implication, "widow". Remember these points because they are relevant to the feminine journey on the Tree.

(sigma). It is attributed to Aquarius and connects Power with First Principle on the Tree. This path is a step in the combined journey of men and women. Surely power must be exercised with wisdom or else it kills and destroys. The second letter o (omicron) is attributed to Mars. It is the fifth chakra and the fifth masculine path that connects Power and Glory. A very appropriate attribution. The description of the experience is in the Apocalypse of John, 3:1-6. This is the Letter to Sardis. The third letter f (fi) is attributed to Air and is the third step in the feminine journey. It connects Glory with First Principle. You will recall that according to Pythagorian thinking in its modern context, this path has to do with logical and scientific thinking. This is normally considered to be masculine and yet, it is on a feminine path.
Let us now look at the first letter S

(iota) is attributed to the Sun and the fourth chakra. This is traditionally taken to be the Sun or heart chakra. This is also the fourth step in the masculine journey and its description is given in the Apocalypse of John, 2:18-29. This is the Letter to Thyatira. The path connects Greatness and Power on the Tree. The fifth letter a (alfa) is attributed to the Moon and is the first step of the masculine journey. It is also the first chakra. If you have not already seen it, you should realise that the attribution of the Greek letters to the chakras is different from the Hebrew system. That is because the theology is different and so is the way of salvation. The description of the experience of this path is in the Apocalypse of John, 2:1-7, the Letter to Ephesos. This path connects Kingdom and Foundation.
The fourth letter i

The formula for experiencing Sofia is Aquarius, Mars, Air, Sun and Moon.

Sphere 3 - NoesiV (Noesis) Understanding

Noesis appears in 6 different forms in the New Testament. "Understanding" is one of the meanings and the one appropriate in this theological context. In the Gnostic scripture The Three Tablets of Seth, we are told that Understanding is bestowed upon Power and that Power is bestowed upon Understanding. That fits the Greek Tree of Life perfectly and indicates the accuracy of the view of theology that we are developing.

(ni) is attributed to Scorpio and is part of the combined journey. If you refer to the table in Part 2 of this series, you will see that it is also attributed to the genitals. This is a subtle indication that sexuality is involved in the spiritual process. This path connects Goodness with Glory on the Tree. The second letter o (omicron) is attributed to Mars and the fifth chakra. It is also the fifth step in the male journey. The description of the experience is in the Apocalypse of John 3:1-6, as the Letter to Sardis. It connects Power and Glory. The third letter e (epsilon) is attributed to Mercury, the second chakra and the second step in the male journey. The description of the experience is in the Apocalypse of John 2:8-11, as the Letter to Smyrna. The path connects Foundation and Victory.
The first letter N

(sigma) is attributed to Aquarius and is part of the combined journey. It connects Power to First Principle. The fifth letter i (iota) is attributed to the Sun, the fourth chakra and the fourth step in the masculine journey. The experience is described in the Apocalypse of John 2:18-29, as the Letter to Thyatira. The path connects Greatness and Power. The sixth letter V is sigma in its final form and has been described above. It emphasises the importance of the combined journey of Aquarius for the proper understanding of Understanding.
The fourth letter s

The formula for understanding Noesis is Scorpio, Mars, Mercury, Aquarius, Sun and Aquarius.

The non-sphere -GnwsiV

(Gnosis) Knowledge

Christ said "|ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free"; Gospel of John 8:32. Knowledge is the key to freedom and freedom is salvation. Thus the fundamental basis for salvation is knowledge. Up to now theology has not emphasized this teaching and instead it has insisted that salvation comes by faith and belief alone. Indeed, the Church did its utmost to suppress the spiritual knowledge of gnosis. The sad legacy of that policy is that today many cry out for salvation but no salvation comes. Instead we continue to be exhorted to have faith and believe, in the face of all the evidence that it has failed for most people. Do you doubt this failure? Look at your own personal life and look at the world around you. The Church has had 2,000 years to make the old theology work. It is now time for a new view of theology based on personal effort. To be fair, there are people who insist that salvation can come from faith and belief alone. This is a matter of personal experience.

Let us begin by noting that in the Hebrew Tree of Life, this sphere is known as Daat and this also means Knowledge. Significantly, in Genesis 4:1 it is written, "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived|.". The old theology considers this to be a prudish euphemism for sex and has paid no attention to the fact that the Hebrew word is daat. This is knowledge in the sense of gnosis, that is, spiritual knowledge. Thus the masculine principle has to know the feminine principle for any form of spiritual creation. Sexuality is the lowest form of this kind of knowledge.

In the gnostic myth, Sofia creates asexually, that is, without the concurrence of the masculine principle. In some gnostic texts this leads to her fall and creates the necessity for her redemption. However it must be emphasised here that this is not the view that we take. The Virgin Mary is the personification of Sofia and Mary conceived asexually in the sense that she conceived by the Holy Spirit. This is the mystery of the Virgin Birth. Hence the Virgin Mary is the personification of the first step of the feminine journey on the Greek Tree of Life. Mary must give birth as a virgin to the Redeemer, just as Sofia gives birth as a virgin to the kosmos. As Above, so Below. These are deep issues and we shall return to them in a later part of this series. Just one point at this stage however, one of the Greek titles of the Virgin Mary, is QeotokoV

(Theotokos) which means "God Bearer". The first Greek letter of her title is Q (theta) and on the Greek Tree of Life it is attributed to Earth, connects Greatness to Goodness and is the first step in the feminine journey. A small confirmation of the view of theology that we are developing.

But let us return to the main issue, the sphere of Gnosis. Just as in the Hebrew Tree Daat is created by the Fall of Adam and Eve, so in the Greek Tree Gnosis is created by the Fall. In both cases the "creation" is a negative, that is, a lack or an absence. What is it that is lacking? Knowledge! How is the negative turned into a positive? How is Knowledge created? By pain, hard work, personal discipline and constant effort. No wonder that we prefer to think that all we have to do is to have faith and believe. That takes no effort at all. But it also explains the lack of results for most people.

(gamma) is attributed to Taurus and is part of the combined journey of men and women. It connects Kingdom and Victory on the Tree. The second letter n (ni) is attributed to Scorpio and is also part of the combined journey. We also know that Scorpio is connected with the genitals and this points to sexuality as being part of Knowledge. This path connects Goodness to Glory. The third letter o (omicron) is attributed to Mars, the fifth chakra and the fifth step in the masculine journey. It connects Power to Glory. The experience of this path is described in the Apocalypse of John 3:1-6, as the Letter to Sardis. The fourth letter s (sigma) is attributed to Aquarius and is part of the combined journey. It connects Power to First Principle. The fifth letter i (iota) is attributed to the Sun, the fourth chakra and the fourth step in the masculine journey. It connects Greatness to Power. The description of the experience of this path is in the Apocalypse of John 2:18-29, as the Letter to Thyatira. The sixth letter V is sigma in its final form and we have already seen it. This emphasises the importance of Aquarius.
The first letter G

One final point. Look at the Greek Tree and note that Gnosis exists at the conjunction of the pentagram formed as follows:

First Principle

Glory Understanding Wisdom Power First Principle

The doctrine of the pentagram was first publicly taught by Pythagoras. Since his time the doctrine has become one of the cornerstones of the western esoteric tradition. In the view of theology that we are developing, Knowledge is the combination of the five spheres that form a pentagram around it. But to get to those five spheres requires that the whole Tree has been traveled and all its lessons have been learned. That is, the sphere of Knowledge is created as the last stage

of the work. We have a lot to do, but it is worthwhile because it is Knowledge that will set us free. In our present spiritual state, the Gnosis of freedom promised to us by Christ, is still ahead for most of us. We can recreate that Knowledge by doing the work.

The formula for experiencing Gnosis is Taurus, Scorpio, Mars, Aquarius, Sun and Aquarius.

Greek Kabala
Part 4
Does the work ahead cause you to feel disheartened? Is that because you believe that you do not have to do anything, you can get to heaven by doing nothing more that believing and having faith? But believe what? Having faith in what? The evidence of the last 2,000 years proves that for most people the old theology has failed. However if you still need to have faith and believe in something, at least believe in Knowledge, because Christ promised that it will set us free. The point that we make is that Knowledge has to be worked for. Let us proceed with the inner journey.

Sphere 4 - Doxa (Doxa) Glory

Doxa is used in 18 different ways in the New Testament. But do we really understand the concept of glory? In the Gnostic scripture Zostrianos, we are told that the "|glories are perfect concepts, appearing unto powers|they are patterns of salvation|". This fits in with the Greek Tree of Life because Glory is opposite Power and they are perfect concepts directly connected by a path. But more importantly, it is now clear that Glory is the pattern of salvation. This is obvious from the Tree because Glory is directly connected to First Principle that as we have already seen in Part 2 of this series, contains the pattern of order. Thus Glory fully opens up the pattern of salvation that exists as latent potential in First Principle. Moreover, Christ will come with Power and Glory (Luke 21:27). You can now see that we are taking the concepts of the old theology and examining them in a new way.

It is important to note that we are not advocating the abandonment of the Christian belief system. We are taking it as the starting point for the inner journey. Here is the difference - the Church stops at the very point where we begin. Let us continue.

(delta) is attributed to Gemini and is part of the combined journey of men and women. It connects Foundation and Greatness on the Tree. The second letter o (omicron) is attributed to Mars, the fifth chakra and the fifth step of the masculine journey. Appropriately, it is the masculine power of Mars that connects Power and Glory. The description of the experience of this path is in the Apocalypse of John 3:1-6 as the Letter to Sardis. The third letter x (xi) is attributed to Water and is the second step in the feminine journey. It connects Goodness to First Principle. In the modern interpretation of Pythagoras, this has to do with feelings and emotions in a spiritual sense. This is the path of pain, but more on that later. The fourth letter a (alfa) is attributed to the Moon, the first chakra and the first step in the masculine journey. It connects Kingdom with Foundation. The description of the experience is in the Apocalypse of John 2:1-7, as the Letter to Ephesos.
The first letter D

Thus the formula for experiencing Glory is the combination of Gemini, Mars, Water and the Moon.

Sphere 5 - DunamiV(Dynamis) Power

Dynamis is used in 21 different ways in the New Testament. Only some of them refer to "power" in the sense used here. Once more we turn to a gnostic scripture for assistance. In the First Thought in Three Forms we are told that First Thought (another name for First Principle) comes down into the world for the salvation of the stolen power of Sofia. Let us pause here. We have already seen that Glory is the pattern of salvation made manifest and now it is implied that by the Fall the Power of salvation has been stolen and must be recovered. The coming down of First Thought (or First Principle) for the salvation of the stolen Power makes a lot of sense and is part of the answer to the question "why are we not saved?" Bearing in mind that this is all deeply symbolic, it means that within our individual spiritual makeup, we have lost something that needs to be redeemed. This is a redemption that involves the invocation of the First Principle within us but that requires us to have completed the inner journey around the Greek Tree of Life and have created Gnosis. If that sounds paradoxical, it is because it is paradoxical. We are dealing with mysteries that are inherently right brain concepts. Mysteries require revelation, inspiration, imagination and vision. We shall not attain these states of being through left brain logic. This needs Knowledge, as well as faith and belief.

(delta) is attributed to Gemini and is part of the combined journey of male and female. It connects Foundation and Greatness on the Tree. The second letter u (ipsilon) is attributed to Jupiter, the sixth chakra and the sixth step in the masculine journey. It connects Glory and Wisdom. The description of the experience is in the Apocalypse of John 3:7-13, as the Letter to Philadelphia. The third letter n (ni) is attributed to Scorpio and is part of the combined journey. Note once more that sexuality is being hinted at as part of Power. The fourth letter a(alfa) is attributed to the Moon, the first chakra and the first step in the masculine journey. It
The first letter D

connects Kingdom with Foundation. The experience is found in the Apocalypse 2:1-7, as the Letter to Ephesos. The fifth letter m (mi) is attributed to Libra as part of the combined masculine and feminine journey. It connects Goodness and Power. The sixth letter i (iota) is attributed to the Sun, the fourth chakra and the fourth masculine step. It connects Greatness and Power. It is described in the Apocalypse of John 2:18-29, as the Letter to Thyatira. The seventh letter V sigma in its final form is attributed to Aquarius and is part of the combined journey.

The formula for comprehending Power is Gemini, Jupiter, Scorpio, Moon, Libra, Sun and Aquarius.

Let us pause and consider that Dynamis has been lost and it will take the direct intervention of First Principle to recover the lost Power of salvation. The last letter of Dynamis is the 7th and it connects Power and First Principle via Aquarius, a sign of the zodiac usually attributed to very high intellect. The number 7 is significant for the number of steps in the masculine journey and the chakras. All of this tells us that the male journey must be completed before the path of Aquarius can be properly activated to enable First Principle to recover the lost Power of salvation. This is paradoxical because it implies that salvation can be achieved without completing all three journeys. The problem is that First Principle cannot be activated unless Knowledge is created. That cannot occur until all 3 journeys are complete. Confused? Good, let us proceed.

Sphere 6 - Agaqwsunh(Agathosine) Goodness

Agathosine is used in two ways in the New Testament, both implying goodness. However goodness is not the Good. Here we must turn to Plotinos for assistance. From his teachings recorded in the Enneads, we find that "goodness" is an emanated quality of the Good which itself is identified with the Monad . We have already seen that the First Principle is identical with the Monad , so what does all this mean? Look at the Greek Tree of Life and you will see that the sphere directly below First Principle (Monad), is Goodness. That is the quality of goodness is an emanation of the concept of the Good. If this is not clear, try reading the Enneads or the gnostic scripture The Three Tablets of Seth that states "|by Goodness you have bestowed Power upon Understanding". Note that on the Tree, Goodness is connected with Power that in turn is connected with Understanding. Who is the "you" who does the bestowing? The Good, that is, First Principle. We therefore have a circuit of spiritual influence as follows:

First Principle

Goodness Power Understanding First Principle

The circuit is complete because Understanding connects with First principle. The whole Tree is important, but this circuit is significant, because it is approached from below, by the first step of the feminine journey. There are a few surprises in store for us in that journey, but more of that later.

(alfa) is the first masculine step and has been described before. The second letter g (gamma) is attributed to Taurus and is part of the combined journey. It connects Kingdom to Victory. The third letter is also a (alfa). The first step is being emphasised again. The fourth letter q (theta) is attributed to Earthand is the first feminine step. It takes us from Greatness to Goodness and the circuit we have seen above. This implies special power to the feminine.
The first letter A

Remember that it is associated with the aetheric body and that in turn is the connection between the physical body and the soul as vehicles of consciousness. Out of interest, observe that the path from Goodness to First Principle is the second feminine step and is also part of the circuit. Do you find this confusing? Good. Maybe you will let your intuition guide you.

(omega) is the seventh masculine step and is attributed to Saturn and the seventh chakra. It connects Wisdom and First Principle. The experience is described in The Apocalypse 3:14-22, as the Letter to Laodicea. The sixth letter s (sigma) is attributed to Aquarius, connects Power to First Principle and is part of the combined journey. The seventh letter u (ipsilon) is the sixth masculine step attributed to Jupiter and the sixth chakra. The experience is described in the Apocalypse 3:7-13 as the Letter to Philadelphia. It connects Glory to Wisdom. The eighth letter n (ni) is attributed to Scorpio on the combined journey and connects Goodness with Glory. Note the subtle sexual connotation yet again. The ninth letter h (eta) is the third masculine step, attributed to Venus and the third chakra. Since Venus is the personification of sexual desire, our attention is again being attracted. It connects Greatness with Victory and the experience is in the Apocalypse 2:8-17, as the Letter to Pergamos.
The fifth letter w

The formula for experiencing Goodness is Moon, Taurus, Moon, Earth , Saturn, Aquarius, Scorpio and Venus.

*******

Let us pause for a time and review what we have done and where we are. Is all of this confusing, infuriating and boring? Is it a waste of time following all these letters and paths on the Greek Tree of Life? Can you see any relevance at all in any of this for your life here and now? Is all of this nonsense? You are being tested.

Greek Kabala
Part 5
How dare anyone test you! Why do you have to put up with all of this? Why is this not explained in plain English so you can understand it and apply the teaching? Why all these metaphors, symbols and parables?

Christ said, "Therefore speak I in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." (Matthew 13:13); and again, "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables." (Mark 4:11) Once more, "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand." (Luke 8:10)

Have you got the message?

Sphere 7 - Nikh (Nike) Victory

Nike is used six times in the New Testament and means Victory in its usual sense of a triumph over an adversary after a struggle or battle. But what is the struggle? Who is the adversary? After all, we have just come from Goodness. The clue

(epsilon) that leads into Victory and the path of h (eta) that leads out of it. These are the second and third masculine paths. Before we can progress from the second to the third, there is a struggle that must be won. The second path is attributed to Mercury whose archetypal meaning is the high intellect. The third path is attributed to Venus whose archetypal meaning is desire, emotion and yet again, the sex drive. What then is the struggle? It is the battle between the intellect and desire. What does Victory mean? Not that one defeats the other. That would be the opposites in direct opposition and mutual destruction. Victory is the symbiotic relationship between intellect and desire, so that they work together. That is easy enough to say, but very difficult in practice, hence the title of this sphere is Victory.
is given by the path of e

(ni) is attributed to Scorpio and the combined journey. Appropriately, it is the path of the genitals and the physical location of the struggle. The second letter i (iota) has already been described. Here, simply note that it is the next step on the masculine journey after the struggle has been won. The third letter k (kappa) is attributed to Leo on the combined journey and links Goodness with Victory. Do you see the intricate interconnections within the Tree? We are only touching the surface at the moment. There is a great deal more to discuss. The fourth letter h (eta) is attributed to Venus, the third masculine step and the third chakra. The experience is described in the Apocalypse 2:12-17, as the Letter to Pergamos.
The first letter N

The formula for understanding Victory is Scorpio, Sun, Leo and Venus.

Sphere 8 - Megalwsunh (Megalosine) Greatness

Megalosine appears four times in the New Testament. Curiously, it is not used in its literal meaning of "greatness", but rather in the sense of "majesty". Thus it means something like great authority, sovereignty, dignity and imposing character; all meanings quite appropriate to the subject we are studying. Here is the clue: there are 10 letters in Megalosine . The whole of the Tree of Life is encapsulated in this word. Appropriately, 5 letters are vowels and 5 are consonants, thus giving a balanced perspective. The true Greatness of the Tree lies in the breadth and depth of knowledge of the process salvation that it gives to us.

(mi) is attributed to Libra on the combined journey. It connects Goodness and Power. The second letter e (epsilon) is attributed to Mercury, the second chakra and the second step in the masculine journey. It connects Foundation with Victory. The experience is described in the Apocalypse 2:8-11, as the Letter to Smyrna. The third letter g (gamma) is attributed to Taurus on the combined journey. It connects Kingdom and Victory. The fourth a (alfa) has already been described, but note that it is attributed to the Moon and she reflects the "greatness" of the Sun. The fifth letter l (lambda) is attributed to Virgo on the combined journey and connects Victory with Glory; quite appropriate to Greatness. The sixth letter w (omega) is attributed to the seventh masculine step, the seventh chakra and Saturn. It connects Wisdom with First Principle. The description of the experience is in the Apocalypse 3:14-22, as the Letter to Laodicea. The seventh letter s (sigma) has already been described. It connects Power to Crown, again appropriate to Greatness.
The first letter M

The eighth letter u (ipsilon)

has also been described. It connects Glory to Wisdom and are they not attributes of Greatness? The ninth letter n (ni) has already been described. It connects Goodness with Glory, again very appropriate for Greatness. The tenth letter h (eta) connects Victory and Greatness. It is the third masculine step, the third chakra and is attributed to Venus. The experience is described in the Apocalypse 2:12-17, as the Letter to Pergamos.

The formula for Greatness is Libra, Mercury, Taurus, Moon, Virgo, Saturn, Aquarius, Jupiter, Scorpio and Venus.

Sphere 9 - Qemelion (Themelion) Foundation

Themelion is used 23 times in the New Testament as Foundation and is related to the Greek word that means "to establish". Clearly, a foundation is laid for the purpose of establishing a firm basis for what shall be built upon it. On the Tree, this is the correct place for Foundation and not the sphere of Kingdom, because a foundation is itself dug into the ground. Kingdom is the ground in which the Foundation is established. But what does it all mean? The clue is contained in Matthew 16:18 where Christ says, " And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my

and that word is related to petra , which means "rock". Cube shaped rocks were used for foundations of all kinds of buildings at the time of Christ, but especially for temples.
church;|". It is well known that Christ is using a Greek pun: "Peter" in Greek, is PetroV

(theta) is attributed to Earth and the first feminine step. It connects Greatness with Goodness. It is the start of the circuit we have noted before. To say that the feminine principle is deep in the Foundation is more than just a play on words. The second letter e (epsilon) has already been described. Note however that it connects Foundation to Victory and is part of the struggle we have already observed. The third letter m (mi) has already been described. The fourth letter e (epsilon) is very familiar by now. The fifth letter l (lambda) has also been described. The sixth letter i (iota), seventh letter o (omicron) and eighth letter n (ni), are all well known. The point is to understand how they establish the Foundation. Once more note Scorpio and the genitals.
The first letter Q

The formula for understanding Foundation is Earth, Mercury, Libra, Mercury, Virgo, Sun, Mars and Scorpio.

Sphere 10 - Basileia(Basileia) Kingdom

Basileia is found 161 times in the New Testament and is used in 6 different senses. The gnostic teacher Basilides is reported, in a papyrus fragment of unknown provenance, to hold that a souls salvation is its rational state and kingdom. Is it an accident that the name Basilides means "he who is of the kingdom"? It is at least clear that Kingdom in the Greek Tree of Life has a deep metaphysical meaning and is not to be attributed to the physical world we live in. This makes complete sense of Christs repeated teachings about the Kingdom being at hand, when no one can actually see it. (Luke 17:20,21). We should also note that Basilides uses the word "rational" in a different sense to that in which we use it. Today we treat left brain thinking as being rational. The closest analogy to Basilides meaning is right brain thinking. This is consistent with the teaching of Pythagoras.

(beta) is attributed to Aries and is the first step of the combined journey. It connects Kingdom and Greatness. The second letter a (alfa) has already been described but note that it is the first step of the masculine journey. It connects Kingdom and Foundation. The third letter s (sigma) has been described. It leads to First Principle, the final destination of the journey begun at Kingdom. The fourth letter i (iota), the fifth letter l(lambda), the sixth letter e (epsilon), the seventh letter i (iota) and the eighth letter a (alfa) have all been described.
The first letter B

The formula for understanding Kingdom is Aries, Moon, Aquarius, Sun, Virgo, Mercury, Sun and Moon.

******* We have come to the end of our first consideration of the Greek Tree of Life. A number of points now arise:

(zeta), p (pi), t (tav) and y (psi). They have not been named but they are still part of the Tree. We cannot ignore them and we shall meet them when we conduct the 3 journeys.
There are four letters that have not come up for consideration: z

If you have got to this point, it means that you have successfully passed the first test. You have demonstrated patience, concentration, perseverance and discipline. You will need all these qualities as we proceed.

There are further tests and courage is one of them, because you will have to face your worst adversary yourself. These tests will be found in the 3 journeys and that which lies beyond them.

The journeys and the tests are part of the process of salvation. This is a new view of theology. If you do not like it, give up now.

If you do not want to give up, read on.

Greek Kabala
Part 6
We have heard a great deal about the 3 journeys. It is time that we begin to understand them. So far, we know that there is a masculine journey, a feminine journey and a combined journey. Clearly, the concept of a journey is related to significant life changing experiences. Most of them are unpleasant and according to our present society, are to be avoided. That is because our society is geared to instant self-gratification (easy credit, fast foods, instant entertainment) and avoids anything unpleasant. That avoidance includes salvation as a process of personal transformation because as we shall see, salvation requires discipline, hard work and total commitment. It is hard to be committed while we drink beer, eat a hamburger and watch TV. That is much easier than fasting, studying, meditating and praying. Our society would rather "feel good" than do any spiritual work.

That still does not explain why we must take the journeys. The reason is that before we are liberated by salvation, we must have every human experience. Thus we have all incarnated as men and therefore we have all been rapists. We have all incarnated as women and thus have all been raped. As women we have all had abortions. We have all been gay. We have all incarnated in different races and therefore been racists and the victims of racism. We have committed crimes and been the victims of crime. We have been rich, we have been poor; we have been powerful, we have been weak. And so it goes on. To have every human experience requires more than one incarnation; it demands thousands. For a society that craves instant self-gratification, this is not a cheerful prospect. The easiest course is simply to deny that salvation needs effort on our part.

We have in fact done just that and deny the need for hard work in order to be saved. We use a theology that matches our societys needs. Our current understanding of theology tells us not to worry, because Jesus did it all for us 2,000 years ago. His crucifixion is sufficient for us to be saved today without any effort on our part. This old theology is very popular but it may not be true for you. If it is not, then the Greek Tree of Life is the road map for all the journeys that we must take.

You did not expect to read any of this did you? If you dont like it, you had better stop now, because if you continue, you may not be able to stop.

But why should we take the journeys anyway? Wont reincarnation and karma take care of everything? Yes they will, but very slowly. The point is that we can choose to accelerate our own progress by choosing to have those experiences that our society sees as unpleasant and unnecessary. To do that, we need discipline. For those who want to come along, let us begin.

The Combined Journey

We start with this, because it is the easiest to comprehend. On the surface it appears to be referring to the physical nature that is shared by men and women. On the Greek Tree it is symbolised by the 12 letters attributed to the signs of the zodiac and the body parts associated with them. It will be helpful to see these attributions in table form: Name Greek EnglishNumbe Attribu Meani r te ng

Beta

B,b

B, b

Aries

Head

Gamma G , g

G, g

Taurus Throat

Delta

D,d

D, d

Gemini Should ers

Zeta

Z,z

Z, z

Cancer Chest

Kappa K , k

K, k

20

Leo

Heart

Lambd L , l a

L, l

30

Virgo Stomac h

Mi

M,m

M, m

40

Libra Intestin es

Ni

N,n

N, n

50

Scorpio Genital s

Pi

P,p

P, p

80

Sagittar Thighs ius

Rho

R,r

R, r

100

Caprico Knees rn

Sigma

S,s

S, s

200

Aquari Ankles us

Tav

T,t

T, t

300

Pisces

Feet

Both men and women have the same body parts listed above. Whatever affects their bodies is an experience common to each. All of this is a metaphor and substitutes symbols for individual experiences. Obviously, this journey has 12 steps. What are they? There are many explanations, in fact as many explanations as there are people. Here is one explanation; the key to it is the number 12. We need experiences that will counter the damaging effects of our obsession with self-gratification and "feel good". There is one word that describes such experiences: discipline. According to tradition, there are 12 spiritual disciplines of 3 types, with 4 examples of each type:

Inner Fasting Study

Outer

Group

Submissio Worship n Service Guidance Celebratio n

Meditation Solitude Confession Prayer Simplicity

Let us now place the 12 steps on the road map of the Tree of Life, so that we can see where we have to go. As we shall discover, it is difficult to correlate the 12 disciplines with the 12 steps, but that is also a part of the journey.

Let us now look at the disciplines. The inner disciplines we do alone and we can hide that fact from our relatives, friends and the people we work with. The cumulative effect of fasting, study, meditation and prayer, takes time to be noticed if we keep our behaviour confidential.

However the outer disciplines immediately mark us for attention. Our normal behaviour will change so radically, that we shall be treated as a threat, for indeed we are. To behave with submission, service, solitude and simplicity, is to reject the entire basis of our present culture. We are a threat precisely because we are taking control of our own spiritual destiny. When we combine with other like-minded people in the group disciplines, we become intolerable. Our society has turned worship and celebration into entertainment, thus demonstrating its lack of understanding. Confession is thought of in simple psychological terms and guidance in spiritual matters is lacking. What a threat we are if we work on all 12 disciplines.

This is your second warning to stop now and go no further, if you do not like what you are reading.

We shall not discuss the 12 disciplines in detail here, because it has been done elsewhere. Further, the correlation of the 12 disciplines with the 12 signs of the zodiac and the 12 body parts is difficult. For example, fasting affects:

The head (Aries) because what we see and hear needs as much control as what we eat and drink.

The stomach (Virgo) and intestines (Libra) because of what we eat and drink.

The genitals (Scorpio) because our sexual behaviour is strongly affected by what we see and hear in the head (Aries).

Study, meditation and prayer affect the head (Aries) and by changing our behaviour, affect all of our body parts. In other words the correlation between the 12 disciplines and the 12

signs of the zodiac is not linear. It is a non-linear relationship and understanding that is part of the combined journey.

There is only one issue to be observed at this time. The experience of the 12 disciplines in the combined journey results in the integration of our vehicles of consciousness body, soul and spirit, with our male and female nature. It is precisely because we each have a male and female nature that requires us to make each of the 3 journeys. Look at the diagram below:

What has this to do with the body parts? Are we doing a journey in the body? A well known relaxation technique begins at the head and moves down the body in the order of the above table. But it is more subtle than that. Think of the acupuncture meridians. If you visualise yourself as a point of light (an esoteric exercise of the Mysteries) and literally take the journey from head to feet as per the table, you are stimulating the flow of chi through the meridians. Quite apart from health, it has a more profound effect of transforming your physical body into a body of spiritual light. Is this journey worth taking?

The combined journey is a process of integration and wholeness. It must be performed by both men and women in the same way. The time for separate journeys comes after this. Why? The combined journey is the minimum standard for our spiritual lives because to proceed without having done it, is dangerous. Yes, it can be dangerous to live spiritually. The danger is in dealing with forces we do not understand and before we are ready for them. The whole point of the spiritual life is to deliberately set into motion the hidden processes of the kosmos. The power to do so is granted to us by God in his infinite mercy. The wisdom to do so must be very painfully earned by us. The power to set kosmic forces into motion is based upon the knowledge of how it is done, knowledge that is locked into the Tree of Life.

As the minimum standard the 12 disciplines are the least that is required of us. After them, the journeys get serious. This is your third and final warning. In the Mysteries, you only get three warnings.

Now what about the female journey?

Greek Kabala
Part 7
If you have got to this point, it means you are at least curious enough to find out what the feminine journey is about. Please note that men as well as women must take the feminine journey. Be warned that our present society will not like much of what you are about to read.

The Feminine Journey

You already realise that this is a journey of 5 steps but there is nothing like it in current theology. What is it? The clue is the name "Mary", in Greek, Mari . There are 5 letters in her name and that is the
fundamental number of archetypal experiences for the feminine. Consider Mary as:

1.The Virgin.

2.The Magdalene.

3.The Mother.

4.The Widow.

5.Sofia.

These are 5 transformative steps that have to be experienced by each of us, as part of the totality of human experience. This is because we must have all possible human experiences before we can have the liberation of salvation. Let us look at these 5 steps in the table below: Name Theta Xi Fi Chi Psi Greek Q,q X,x F,f C,c Y,y English Th, th X, x F, f Ch, ch Psi, psi Number 9 60 500 600 700 Attribute Earth Water Air Fire Aether Meaning Virgin Magdalene Mother Widow Sofia

If you are easily embarrassed, please stop now. However if you wish to proceed let us take each step individually.

Virgin This is very embarrassing because it is linked to the Virgin Birth. The Church tries to get around this by telling us that in Marys time, the Aramaic word for "virgin", meant something like "young girl" and although it implied sexual virginity, that was not guaranteed and certainly not expected after marriage. It was a social convention that young girls would be virgins when they married. The best evidence of the Churchs embarrassment is that it chooses an Aramaic word for "virgin". "So what", you will ask? The point is that the New Testament was not written in Aramaic. It was written in Greek. Aramaic is absolutely irrelevant. The only relevant question to ask is what is the Greek word used in

that context?

The word is parqenoV and it means "virgin". That meaning is unequivocal and unambiguous. The Church cannot escape its embarrassment by distracting our attention with an irrelevant Aramaic word. In the view of theology that we are developing, we can understands virginity to be a metaphysical state that implies an absolute spiritual integrity that can never be defiled. How can such a state be described? Fortunately, the gnostic scripture Thunder Perfect Mind , has given us just such a description:

For, it is I who am the first: and the last. It is I who am revered: and the despised. It is I who am the harlot: and the holy. It is I who am the wife: and the virgin. It is I who am the mother: and the daughter. I am the members of my mother. It is I who am the barren: and who has many children. It is I who am the one whose marriage is magnificent: and who have not married. It is I who am the midwife: and she who does not give birth; It is I who am consolation: of my own travail. It is I who am the bride: and the bridegroom. And it is my husband who has begotten me. It is I who am the mother of my father; and the sister of my husband. And it is he who is my offspring.

Confused? You should be, because it is no use trying to analyse this with left brain logic. This is right brain material. The clue is in all the opposites that have to be reconciled. Only after that reconciliation can the true nature of the Virgin be understood. But there is more.

Consider the Gospel of John 1:1. Under the old theology it is translated as, "In the beginning was the word, |". As we have seen, a better translation is, "Within the first principle exists the pattern of order, |". In any event, it goes on to say in John 1:4,5, "In him (First Principle) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."

The darkness is the metaphysical virgin state of the feminine that must be brought to life and light by the masculine part of the First Principle. The virgin state is the feminine side of the First Principle prior to its act of manifestation. Both sides are necessary for manifestation, they must be reconciled and neither are well understood. Let us admit candidly that this is a mystery of the highest order. It will be grasped only by disciplined action on our part. Do you now understand the necessity for the 12 disciplines?

(theta) and the alchemical element Earth. Remember that alchemy is a metaphorical system of parables about personal transformation. We
The transformative state of the Virgin is attributed to the path Q

have already seen the Pythagorian explanation that this element symbolises the aetheric body, as the connecting link between body and soul. Earth is the grounding principle and the ultimate metaphysical place for the manifestation of the life and light "that shineth in the darkness". Given the deep mystery of the virgin state, this is entirely appropriate.

Let us also recall that one of the Virgins titles is QeotokoV (Theotokos - God Bearer). The first letter of that title is

(theta) and that letter is the first step of the feminine journey on the Tree of Life. This step connects Greatness with Goodness and leads directly into the circuit of power we saw in Part 4 of this series. The first feminine step of virginity is the prerequisite for the power that is to be experienced in the circuit. We need absolute spiritual integrity to enter this circuit. Why does the Church try to distract us with irrelevant Aramaic words about "young girls"?
Q

Now you are going to get really embarrassed. We are going to talk about prostitutes.

Magdalene

(xi), the path of Water that connects Goodness and First Principle. It is the second feminine step and leads directly from the first. Since this path is linked by Pythagoras to emotions and feelings, its sexual implication is clear.
This is X

From the very beginning, Church tradition has accepted that Mary Magdalene was a "repentant sinner", a polite euphemism for "reformed prostitute". The problem for the Church has been that a prostitute has been regarded as the most despised of women, but Mary Magdalene has played a crucial role in the very implementation of Christs mission. The old theology tries to ignore her. Our new view of theology puts her in the correct place of the Christian manifestation. Let us begin.

In Luke 7:37 we are told of "a woman in the city, which was a sinner", who washes Jesus feet with her tears, dries his feet with her hair, kisses his feet and anoints them with ointment. Jesus forgives her sins. Notice the small detail that she has unbound hair. Respectable women of that era did not wear their hair like that. Prostitutes did. A "woman in the city" who is a "sinner" and has unbound hair, is a good euphemism for a prostitute. Who is this woman? In John 12:3, she is named as Mary of Bethany and anoints Jesus feet with spikenard a very costly ointment. She then wipes his feet with her hair. Again notice the unbound hair. This occurs six days before the Last Supper.

In Mark 14:3, we are told that at Bethany a woman anoints his head with spikenard. In Matthew 26:7 we are told that again in Bethany, a woman pours very precious ointment on his head. Mary of Bethany and the unnamed woman are clearly the same person. But is she the "sinner"? Is she Mary Magdalene the reformed prostitute? And why is this

important anyway?

In Greek, CristoV (Christos) means the "anointed one". In his day, kings were anointed with spikenard. Thus we now have precisely the moment when Jesus became Christ, only a few days prior to the Last Supper. From this moment on, he should not be called Jesus. He should only be called Christ, because he has been anointed like a king. But why by a woman and why is it important to know whether she is Mary Magdalene? To be blunt, why is it important that she be a prostitute? Is there any evidence to connect Mary Magdalene with the act of anointment? In Mark 14:8 Christ says of the unnamed woman "she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying", a clear reference to the need to anoint his body in the tomb after his crucifixion. Who is it that comes to do that? Before we answer that question, who stands at the foot of the cross when he is crucified? In John 19:25 we are told that three women do so, Mary his mother, Mary wife of Cleophas and Mary Magdalene. There is no mention of Mary of Bethany. It is reasonable to expect that the woman who anoints Jesus as Christ, should be present at his crucifixion. Is Mary Magdalene the same as Mary of Bethany?

Finally, at John 20:1,2 we are told that Mary Magdalene is the first to go to the tomb to anoint the body of the dead Christ and she finds that the tomb is empty. Why her? Why not Mary the mother, or Mary of Bethany? Clearly, Mary Magdalene the reformed prostitute is vital to the ritual of anointing the live Jesus and the dead Christ. Why? First why a woman and secondly, why a prostitute? The importance of these questions is understood when we consider that at Mark 14:9, Christ says of the unnamed woman who anoints him:

Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel is preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

Is this woman important? Consider this. Only two people conducted major rites for Jesus: John who baptises him at the beginning of his ministry and the woman who anoints him at the end. The baptism and the anointing imply authority on the part of John and of the woman. The point is subtle. Although by baptising and anointing they bestow authority on Jesus, they must themselves have authority to do so. Let us again be blunt how can a prostitute have this kind of authority? We shall find out in Part 8 of this series.

However let us finish this Part with a reference to the gnostic scripture The Gospel According to Philip , where Mary Magdalene is described as the Lords "partner". It is then said that he kisses her more than the rest of his disciples and they complain about this. In answer he says to them:

Why do I not love you like her? If a blind person and one with sight are both in darkness, they are not different from one another. When the light comes, then the person with sight will see the light, and the blind person will remain in darkness.

Greek Kabala

Part 8
We are still dealing with a prostitute, Mary Magdalene. Why is she so important to the Christian story? When we discover her importance, we shall understand why she embarrasses the old theology so much. Remember that she anoints Jesus and thereby confers upon him the status of Christ. This is a ritual of profound significance. It is a "kingmaking". When she is criticized for using such an expensive ointment, Jesus upholds her authority, at John 12:7,8. But that still does not explain why a woman is anointing Jesus and why he allows her to do so. After all that was not Jewish custom at the time.

Jesus and Mary Magdalene take part in the IeroVGamoV (Ieros Gamos),
the Sacred Wedding. The old theology carefully avoids this issue because it is a pagan practice of the era that we are dealing with. At this time in Palestine, a man is made a legitimate king if he has sexual union with the High Priestess. He can only receive his full divine power through the authority of the High Priestess. Without her, his claim to kingship is invalid. The embarrassment of the Church is obvious. We too feel embarrassed, because we have no concept of sacred sexuality. This is not about physical sex, personal gratification or eroticism. It is the belief that in the sacred marriage, the man and woman become as gods and experience the divine. Thus the High Priestess acting as a channel for the divine blesses the king and confers authority upon him. The Sacred Wedding is the ultimate expression of temple prostitution. The body of the Priestess is a metaphor for the gateway to the gods.

Note carefully that in this belief system, a man needs a woman to approach the gods, but a woman does not need a man. She is in touch with the divine automatically. Hence in the Quest for the Holy Grail, it said that although men must search for the Grail, women already have it.

But we have not yet finished with Mary Magdalene. In her day, the mystery schools of Osiris, Tammuz, Dionysios, and Attis, had a rite that required the symbolic death of the god, played by a priest. After three days, the Priestess in the role of the goddess revives the god. During the ritual she says, "They have removed my lord and I do not know where to find him." Why is this relevant to the theology that we are developing? Read John 20:2 where Mary Magdalene says:

They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

And again at 20:13 Mary Magdalenetells the angels:

They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

Do you still doubt the importance of Mary Magdalene? Clearly she is fulfilling the role of the High Priestess. That is why she acts with authority and bestows the status of Christ on Jesus; and that is why he allows her to do so in defiance of Jewish custom. But there is more.

There is a modern view that the Wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11) refers obliquely to the actual marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Obviously, this is speculation but it makes sense in the context of the Sacred Wedding. What happens in Cana? Jesus and his disciples are "called" to the wedding. There he participates by turning water into wine. In the parable of that era, water symbolizes the human body and wine symbolizes the spirit, both as vehicles of consciousness. By changing water into wine, Jesus transforms consciousness from biological to spiritual. And what is a wedding? It is the lawful union, according to kosmic law, of our male and female natures. What about the soul? The diagram below makes the point clear. It is a process of integration that places the soul as a vehicle of consciousness, in its correct place.

Have we finished with Mary now? Not quite. Remember we are dealing with the path that connects Goodness with First Principle. This is the path of pain and sorrow. Upon this path is the non-sphere of Knowledge. The gnostic myths tell us that as an Aeon , Sofia desired to conceive but did so without the concurrence of the masculine principle, that is the masculine did not know her. Refer to Genesis 4:1 and recall that Adam knew Eve and she conceived and gave birth. Sofia did not act this way. She gave birth without the masculine and hence this was a "virgin" birth. What was born? The

Demiourgos(Demiurge), the creator god who in turn created the kosmos, a kosmos without Knowledge and therefore in need of redemption and a Redeemer. However Sofia is above the Demiurge and he has no power over her. That is why we can look to her for healing and salvation. We need redemption and salvation. We need a Redeemer and through her personification as the Virgin Mary, we have Him.

Mother

Now at last, we can consider the virgin birth of Jesus. It is clear from Matthew 1:25, that Joseph did not have sexual relations with Mary before she gave birth to her son. We have already seen that the Greek word parthenos means "virgin". We cannot avoid the issue.

(fi) and the element Air. It is the path connecting Glory and First Principle. It is very appropriate as the third feminine step because First Principle contains the pattern of order and Glory is the pattern of salvation made manifest. Why else is Jesus born? He is the Redeemer made manifest, who will lead us to salvation. The Tree is itself a pattern of order and as we move along it, we see how it is consistent with the theology we are developing.
If we look at the Tree of Life, we are dealing with the letter F

It is easy enough to understand Mary the mother of Jesus as the personification of the creative aspect of Sofia. However this still does not explain the virgin birth in terms we can comprehend. The path we are considering has attributed to it the letter F (fi). This is the first letter of the Greek word F wV (fos) which means "light". This word is used in six different ways in the New Testament, but the meaning that is significant for understanding the Virgin Birth is in John 8:12, where Jesus says, Egw eimi to fwV tou kosmou

("I am the light of the world"). We then compare that

with John ch 1 v 3-5,


All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

The key to the Virgin Birth is the "light" that emanates from the masculine aspect that is within the "life" of the First Principle. The "darkness" is the feminine aspect of the First Principle. To make the point clearer, the Tao is the differentiated unity of the "light" masculine Yang and the "dark" feminine Yin. Just as the Tao simply "is" according to Chinese philosophy, in that manner the First Principle is "self-originate" in the gnostic myth. Thus the true nature of the Virgin Birth lies in the self-originated nature of the First Principle. At the end, we see the Virgin Birth as a deep mystery that can only be understood when we have travelled all the paths on the Tree of Life, with the aid of the 12 spiritual disciplines.

The fundamental point is this: The Mother is Sofia giving birth to the Redeemer.

******* Let us review the first three steps on the feminine journey by seeing them in the context of whole of that journey.

The first step from Greatness to Goodness leads directly into the second step from Goodness to First Principle. So the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene follow in sequence. The third step from Glory to First Principle is Mary the Mother. With the fourth step, we shall see Mary as the Widow and finally with her Assumption, Mary will be seen as the personification of Sofia.

Greek Kabala
Part 9
At the time of his ministry, Jesus mother was a widow. Why is this so important as to merit a step in the feminine journey? After all widowhood is as common as motherhood. Why is there an issue?

Widow

All Freemasons are called "Sons of the Widow". This title comes from Hiram Abiff the Grand Master Mason and architect of Solomons Temple, who was murdered by three of his workmen. What has this to do with Jesus? In Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3, Jesus is referred to as tektwn
(tekton) which is usually translated as "carpenter". This is the usual problem of trying to squeeze Greek into English. The problem is that this word also means "mason" and "builder". Hence archtektwn (archetekton) is correctly translated into English as "architect" with the meaning that this person is the designer and builder of a building. At the time of Jesus and Hiram Abiff, an architect designed and built in stone. So Hiram was a "builder" in this sense and Jesus was also a "builder" in the same sense. There is a specific Greek word for "carpenter" but that is not the word used to describe Jesus.

The Masonic myth of the building of Solomons Temple in stone is echoed by Jesus who says in John 2:19 that if the temple is destroyed, he will raise it up in three days. That is a clear allusion to his body and that compares with the Masonic myth that we are each builders of our own body as a temple. Perhaps the point is made clear when we realise that Masons call God the Great Architect. Transliterated into Greek that would be Megas Archetekton, the "Great Builder". Since Jesus is described as "tekton", he is the lesser builder doing the work as directed by God as the greater builder.

So Hiram and Jesus have a subtle connection as builders of temples and they are both "Sons of the Widow". Where does

(chi) attributed to Fire and connects Wisdom with Understanding. It happens that C is the first letter of the word CristoV (Christos) whom we call Christ. Mary as widow and mother stands at the foot of the Cross and watches her son in agony. Truly she is put to the fire. But that still does not explain how the widowhood of Mary and the Christhood of Jesus are connected.
that take us in the fourth step of the feminine journey? This is the letter C

We have to revert to a mystery religion that was prevalent in Hellenistic Palestine at the time of Christ. In the myth of Isis, her husband Osiris is murdered by Seth and his body dismembered into 14 pieces. She collects all the pieces except for his phallus. She constructs an artificial one and then re-assembles his body for resurrection and sexual union. That is, the "holy ghost" of Osiris has sexual union with the "virgin" but "widowed" Isis and she conceives the "son of god" Horus, who "saves" his people from the evil Seth. That is why one of the titles of Horus is "Son of the Widow". Hence the widowed, virgin mother has an immaculate conception that is vital for the incarnation of the saviour son. Does all of this sound familiar? It is not identical to the story of Jesus but close enough to be highly significant.

There is one more thing. The son of the widowed Isis is called Horus because that is his Greek name. In the Egyptian language, his name is Khoor and that is spelled with two hieroglyphics that correspond exactly to the two Greek letters C

(chi) r (rho) that happen to be the first two letters of CristoV (Christos), whom we call Christ.

We must also recall Mary Magdalene and her relationship to the Resurrection. Sofia as the Widow and Sofia as the Magdalene, have complimentary roles. They are opposite aspects of the same inner reality. Through the myth of Isis, we can see the Widow/ Magdalene being concerned with the resurrection of a god or Redeemer.

The widowhood of Mary is part of her pain and loss. Although the old theology venerates Mary as the Mother it and the Virgin, it does not understand her as the Widow. Mary in her widowhood is another deep mystery that requires study, meditation and prayer in solitude (remember the 12 disciplines?), to understand with wisdom and be wise with understanding.

Sofia

that connects Understanding to First Principle. It is attributed to Aether, the divine activating principle. It is the least understood path of the feminine journey because our society completely rejects the issues it involves.
This is the path of Y (psi)

By her Assumption, Mary enters heaven as a complete woman having lived the entirety of human experience. Her widowhood should not be underestimated. She is liberated and she is the ascended Sofia. Mary becomes the bride of God in the Greater Sacred Wedding and unites God with humanity. Thus Mary as Sofia can express:

The Father as the Foundation of creation that enhances her Power and is the source of her Wisdom and Understanding.

The Son as the First Principle of creation, its, meaning, intelligence, truth and justification; that is, its Knowledge, Victory and Kingdom.

The Holy Spirit as the Glory of creation, its Greatness, Goodness, holiness, purity and immaculate aspect.

Sofia is the Fourth Person of the Trinity. Without her, the Trinity is incomplete because she is the World Soul and therefore becomes the vehicle of manifestation for the work of the Great Architect. The Eastern Orthodox Church recognises that as Theotokos (God Bearer), Mary allows God to become man, so that man may become God. This is the work of the Great Architect performs for our sake, our Theosis (God Becoming), through the mediation of Sofia. The fact that she is in her rightful place gives us hope. But this is all a myth isnt it?

What about "real" women in our society today? For you, Sofia is a strong archetype. She is your divine potential. She is the Power that overcomes adversity in order to complete the feminine journey. Her spirituality is non-linear and therefore not logical. Hence her journey is different from the masculine experience, but she must be known by men. Our problem is that she is so little known by our society at a time when we need her so badly.

Circuit of Power

It is time we reconsidered the circuit of power that we saw in Part 4 of this series because we know that there is a deep feminine relationship between some of the paths. In Part 4 we discovered that "|by Goodness you have bestowed Power upon Understanding". On the Tree, Goodness is connected with Power that in turn is connected with Understanding. Who is the "you" who does the bestowing? The Good, that is, First Principle. We therefore have a circuit of spiritual influence as follows:

First Principle

Goodness Power Understanding First Principle

The First Principle emanates into Goodness, then into Power in order to energize Understanding so that the circuit can be closed when Understanding flows into the First Principle. Note the direction of the arrows. First Principle to Goodness is also the path of Mary Magdalene but reversed! Only in this way can she, through her undefiled goodness, recover her power and gain understanding of her condition. As Sofia she moves from Understanding to First Principle taking with her all that she has learned and giving it freely to her divine lover in the Sacred Wedding. It has to be this way because in the gnostic myth she desires to conceive without knowledge, hence as she passes down through the path there is no sphere of Knowledge. That lack of Knowledge is the wound on the Tree of Life that we must heal on our inner journey.

*******

It is now time for the masculine journey of seven steps. With linear male logic, it is described by the seven vowels of the Greek alphabet and the seven Letters to the seven churches, in the Apocalypse of John

Greek Kabala
Part 10
The masculine journey should be much easier because it is very clearly defined on the Tree of Life. By contrast, the feminine journey appears disjointed on the Tree, but this is appearance only. Whereas the feminine journey is non-linear and has to be lived and experienced to be understood, the masculine journey is very left brain in its structure and grasping it intellectually, is part of the experience. Let us see it on the Tree:

The Masculine Journey

The way in which the path twists and turns reminds us of the mystical labyrinth, the maze of Chartres, the alchemical rose garden and the serpentine path of the activation of the chakras. In typical masculine, linear fashion, we have the description of the experiences of the journey already given to us. They exist in the Apocalypse of John as the 7 Letters to the 7 churches. Let us begin by seeing 7 steps of the masculine journey in the table below: Name Greek EnglishNumbe Attribu Meani r te ng

Alfa

A,a

A, a

Moon

1st chakra

Epsilon E , e

E, e

Mercu 2nd ry chakra

Eta

H,h

Venus

3rd chakra

Iota

I,i

10

Sun

4th chakra

Omicro O , o n

O, o

70

Mars

5th chakra

Ipsilon U , u

400

Jupiter

6th chakra

Omega W , w

O, o

800

Saturn

7th chakra

How do we get the connection between the masculine journey and the Apocalypse of John? In the Apocalypse 1:17 Christ says:

Egw eimi o prwtoV kai o esctoV I am the first and the last

How many words do you see? There are 7. How many Letters to how many churches? There are 7. How many vowels in the Greek alphabet? There are 7. How many

planets and chakras are there? There are 7. Which is the first letter and first vowel in the Greek alphabet? Alfa. Which is the last letter and the last vowel in the Greek alphabet? Omega. Christ, the "I am", is the entirety of the 3 journeys, but especially the whole of the masculine journey of 7 steps.

The numerical value of the first and last letters/vowels AW (alfa


+ omega) is 1 + 800 = 801, which is the numerical value of Peristera , the Greek word for "dove". The dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus at his baptism. Hence the masculine path of 7 steps is the path of the Holy Spirit in the sort of way in which the feminine path of 5 steps is the path of Sofia. One more thing before we begin. The 7 steps of the masculine journey are the outer aspect of an inner reality, the 7 stages of the ascent of the soul described in the Gnostic Books of Ieou. More on that later.

One further thing. We shall have to consider the identity of "He" that speaks to John and dictates the 7 Letters. He is described in the Apocalypse 1:13-16 as:

1 the Son of man 2 clothed with a garment down to the foot 3 girt with a golden girdle 4 his head & hairs white like wool/snow 5 his eyes as a flame of fire 6 his feet like fine brass 7 his voice as the sound of many waters 8 in his right hand 7 stars 9 out of his mouth a sharp two edged sword 10 his countenance as the sun.

He is described in 10 statements because there are 10 spheres on the Tree of Life. "He" is not a member of humanity, as we might believe, just because he is said to be the Son of man. There are 3 different Greek words for "man" used at the time of Christ. Two of them refer to ordinary men but the third, anqrwpoV (anthropos), refers to a higher principle and is the word used to describe Christ. Anthropos is used in 61 different ways in the New Testament and all those meanings derive from the same word. Remember the elephant we are trying to squash into a phone booth? We understand the expression "Son of man" to be an emanation of the First Principle. That is, Anthropos is the personification of the First Principle, while the Son of man, as Christ, is the personified emanation of the First Principle.

Let us begin the masculine journey.

Step 1 Moon

On the Greek Tree of Life the paths begin from the bottom and go up to the top. This is the first path on the Tree as well as the first letter and vowel in the Greek alphabet. It is attributed to the Moon and connects Kingdom to Foundation. We already know that the principal pagan deity of Ephesos at the time of Christ was Artemis, the goddess of the Moon. She is a virgin and it is a significant that the first masculine step is analogous to the Virgin of the first feminine step. Directly important to the masculine view of the world is that we already know what to expect from this path because we have the description of the experience in the Apocalypse of John 2:1-7, as the first Letter to the church in Ephesos. Before we proceed it is important to note that in the present series of articles, it is impossible to do justice to the 7 Letters to the 7 churches. The full treatment of the entire Apocalypse has been given elsewhere by this writer. Here we shall only look at summaries of the relevant passages of scripture. In each case, John is told to write not to the church, but to the angel of that church; that is he is addressing a higher level of consciousness. Let us look at the summary:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

To Ephesos says the holder of the 7 stars I know your works I have something against you repent hear what the spirit says he who overcomes shall eat of the Tree of Life.

The person dictating the letter to John is the kosmic Christ. He addresses each of us at Ephesos as the metaphysical place from where our journey begins. Of course he holds the 7 stars, they are the 7 chakras. He knows what each of us has done or failed to do, he knows our works. The central issue is that we are to "repent". The Greek word is metanohson (metanoison). Our society believes that we have to do little more than to beg for forgiveness and then all will be well. Not true. The word for "repent" comes from a word we have already seen: NoesiV(Noesis) Understanding. It is the name of the third sphere of the Tree of Life. We are commanded to undergo metanoesis, that is, to go beyond understanding and turn our fundamental nature around. It is a very deep change of our inner nature.

This point is so important, that it deserves a whole book. A great deal of mischief has been caused by our failure to properly understand Greek. (The elephant and the phone booth again.) We are commanded to undergo a change in our nature that is so fundamental, that we literally cannot understand it. The first step in the male journey demands that we stop thinking like men. It requires us to discard the very basis of our whole way of life. Merely saying "Im sorry" as repentance, is clearly not enough. There must be a turning around of our fundamental nature. You thought the female journey was tough, didnt you?

So how do we change our fundamental nature? Have you tried the 12 spiritual disciplines, or like men, merely read about them and think you understand them? The 12 disciplines are the minimum standard of behaviour on the inner journey. What is the point of all this? "He who overcomes shall eat of the Tree of Life". He who undergoes metanoesis, shall absorb the fruit of the Tree. Is the result worth the effort? Unless we do the 12 disciplines we shall not understand that we have to go beyond understanding.

And this is only the first step.

Greek Kabala
Part 11
Our society has a current concern for gender equality and non-specific gender roles. The problem becomes clear when we examine the inner journey and realise that it has gender-specific experiences, all of which must be dealt with. This is not a popular point of view.

Step 2 - Mercury

The second masculine step is the letter e (epsilon) attributed to Mercury


and connecting Foundation to Victory. This is the second chakra according to the Greek scheme. More correctly, it is the second chakra to be activated. The Greek name for Mercury is Hermes. This immediately alerts us to the hermetic writings because at the time of Christ, they were the intellectual foundation for the gnostic interpretation of Christianity and are now the foundation for the western esoteric tradition. Mercury is attributed to high intellect and hence on the Tree of Life, this path connects appropriately, Foundation with Victory; but victory over what? Once more let us turn to the Apocalypse at 2:8-11 in the Letter to Smyrna:

1 To Smyrna 2 speaks the first and the last 3 I know your works 4 and the blasphemy 5 fear not 6 hear what the spirit says 7 he that overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.

Our "works" are the foundation of our spiritual life and they are truly a blasphemy if we do not live to the highest standard. Have you practised the 12 disciplines lately? But if we "overcome", that is if we have victory, we shall not be hurt by the second death. Victory over whom, and what is the second death? We must overcome precisely this path. As men we must overcome our intellect because it is a limitation and barrier. It prevents vision, inspiration and imagination. The intellect is a foundation upon which these other faculties are built. What is the price of failure? The second death.

Our society avoids this issue because it has no answer to it. We are told that we are all saved from death and have eternal life by doing nothing more than simply believing and having faith. What then is Christ saying to the church at Smyrna? What is the second death? If it is true extinction, then victory over it is obviously important but the old theology tells us nothing about how to "overcome" it. A deep understanding of the Tree of Life tells us that we can overcome provided we conduct our lives with disciplined action. We must have every human experience and we must go on all the inner journeys. We have the Foundation, so let us go to Victory.

Step 3 Venus

(eta) and Venus. The key to Victory is the proper balancing of the intellect of Mercury with the desire nature and sexuality of Venus. Truly this leads to Greatness because our desire is the powerhouse that energises our intellect, while the intellect directs our desire. Note carefully that desire without intellect is out of control, while intellect without desire is sterile. This is the third chakra to be activated on this journey. The experience is described in the Apocalypse 2:12-17 as the Letter to Pergamos:
The third masculine step connects Victory to Greatness. It is attributed to h

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

To Pergamos speaks he with the two edged sword you have kept my faith but I have a few things against you repent hear what the spirit says he that overcomes shall eat hidden manna and receive a white stone and a new name.

Christ has a two edged sword and even though we have kept the faith that the Church has taught us, he still has a few things against us. This does not sound like the meek and mild Jesus of the old theology. He demands yet another repentance, yet another fundamental change in our nature. Once is obviously not enough. But this transformation leads to Greatness on the Tree of Life because we shall eat hidden manna, receive a white stone and a new name. All of this deserves detailed explanation and the writer of these articles has published this elsewhere. At present let us note that a new name is the external evidence of an inner transformation.

It is now clear that having faith is simply not enough. We must transform ourselves and we must do it repeatedly. But what else would we expect on the inner journey? Observe however that this constant need for change is not required on the feminine journey. The female path is a smooth flow. It has an internal continuity and consistency. One stage flows

into the next, almost effortlessly. By contrast, the male journey requires frequent upheaval. Do you still think that men have it easy?

Step 4 Sun

(iota) and the Sun. It is the fourth chakra to be activated and interestingly, coincides with the Hindu and Buddhist systems, in that their fourth chakra is attributed to the Sun. The point is that the Greek system is to be understood not as indicating the position of a chakra, but rather as the order of activation of that chakra. The distinction is subtle but important. For a description of the experience we go to the Apocalypse 2:18-29, as the Letter to Thyatira:
The fourth masculine step connects Greatness with Power and is attributed to i

1 To Thyatira 2 speaks he with eyes like flame 3 I know your charity, faith and patience 4 but you allow Jezebel to seduce my servants 5 I will kill her children 6 to he that overcomes I will give authority and the morning star. 7 hear what the spirit says

Christ has eyes like flame and he will kill children. Again, not very meek sounding. Even charity, faith and patience on our part are not enough to please Him. But if we overcome, we shall receive power in the form of authority. Indeed by a further transformation we shall achieve the Power that comes from Greatness. The Tree at least, operates with a logical consistency. It is we on the masculine journey who have to constantly overcome our inner nature and continuously transform it.

Jezebel is the personification of everything about our society that seduces us into a "feel good" life style. The children to be killed are our own desires, thoughts and actions that prevent our personal transformation. Does this sound ruthless? Yes it is. Is this what you expected? No it isnt, but you stand to gain the morning star. It is the sign that heralds the rising of the Sun. It is a reference to the correct activation of this chakra. Is that desirable? If you dont do it, you cannot proceed.

(iota) is 10, the number of spheres on the Tree of Life. There is something about this particular transformation that encapsulates the entire Tree. All steps on the masculine journey are important but this one is vital. Hence the emphasis upon overcoming the products of the "feel good" society.
One final point. The numerical value of i

Are you feeling tired and weary, getting discouraged and wondering whether any of this is worth the effort? Thats good because it gets worse.

******* Just a reminder; in each Letter to each church we are told to "hear what the spirit says". The numerical value of the first and last letters/vowels of the Greek alphabet AW (alfa + omega) is 1 + 800 = 801, which is the numerical value of

, the Greek word for "dove". The dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. In our understanding of the Tree of Life, small details like this are important.
Peristera

Greek Kabala
Part 12
What is the fundamental difference between the male and female journeys? Women feel while men think. That is why it is so much harder for men. Transformation comes from feeling not thinking. Women feel through their bodies as a natural consequence of who they are. That is why sexuality is their path to spirituality. In order to feel, men need to be wounded. That is why so much is demanded from them. Men have to learn that their wound is sacramental and the key to transformation. Is it any wonder that self-gratification and "feel good" are more popular?

Step 5 Mars

The fifth masculine step is the letter o (omicron) connecting Power to

Glory and attributed to Mars. It is the fifth chakra to be activated and is of particular significance to the man who seeks to be wounded the warrior. Yes, men must positively accept their wound and make it the source of their power. That is why older and wiser societies than ours, recognised glory as the legitimate expression of the power generated by the masculine woundedness. Today, we understand the warrior so little, that we pride ourselves about how we despise the Victory and Greatness that are the Foundation of his Power and Glory.

In our society men suffer in silent pain. They are despised if they cry out and also if they do not cry out. Let us see what the Apocalypse has for us 3:1-6, as the Letter to Sardis:

1 To Sardis 2 speaks he with 7 spirits and 7 stars 3 you are alive and dead 4 be watchful and strengthen 5 remember 6 he that overcomes I shall not blot out his name 7 hear what the spirit says.

Men are "alive" or "dead" depending on how they react to their pain. To be alive is to feel the wound and be transformed by it, to be watchful and strengthened. These are hard sayings but these are hard times. It has never been as hard as today, to be a man. But remember, if we overcome our pain, our name shall not be blotted out. Another ruthless statement from Christ. He demands the absolute commitment that only the 12 disciplines can give us. Have you tried them lately? Men, embrace your pain. It is the Power that gives you Glory. Thus speaks He who holds the 7 spirits and the 7 stars. The stars are the chakras and the spirits are the intelligence of the chakras.

Step 6 Jupiter

(ipsilon), the sixth chakra, attributed to Jupiter and connecting Glory to Wisdom. It is obvious isnt it, that wisdom is the result of the pain that glorifies? Wisdom is of course, the abstraction of Sofia. Men try to think wisely instead of feeling Sofia directly. The barrier to feeling wisdom is an unconscious realisation that sexuality is involved. How then is wisdom to be felt? Let us look at the Apocalypse, 3:7-13 as the Letter to Philadelphia:
The sixth masculine step is the letter u

1 2 3 4 5

To Sardis speaks he with 7 spirits and 7 stars you are alive and dead be watchful and strengthen remember

6 he that overcomes I shall not blot out his name 7 hear what the spirit says.

Now at last, we are making progress. That is the whole point of knowing Wisdom in the heart. Pain does that. We have kept His word, that is, we have experienced the pain and humiliation, so He will write upon us a new name. That is, He will acknowledge openly our inner transformation, for He has always loved us. We have never been alone or abandoned, for he is holy, true and has the key that opens and shuts. His love for us comes from the heart and that is related to passion and desire. He is the son of Mary, the personification of Sofia and hence she is very close to the surface. We need so much to feel her once again.

Step 7 Saturn

,w (omega), the seventh chakra and Saturn. It connects Wisdom with First Principle. It is the last and culminating step in the inner journey. The experience is appropriately described in the Apocalypse as the Letter to the Laodiceans, 3:14-22;
This is the seventh masculine step, attributed to W

1 To Philadelphia 2 speaks he who is holy, true, has the key and opens/shuts 3 you have kept my word 4 know that I have loved you 5 behold 6 to he that overcomes I will write upon him my new name 7 hear what the spirit says. Significantly, this Letter is addressed to the people, not the city of Laodicea. This difference implies a change of consciousness and that is what we would expect. Again we have the problem of the inappropriate translation of the word

(arche) and according tour interpretation, means First Principle. Thus we hear that the First Principle of the creation of God wants us to be completely focussed as either hot or cold. No fuzzy "feel good" here. He tells us to anoint our eyes to see. Thus we too must become anointed ones, Christs. If we become as He is, He shall open the door and we shall sit on His throne. That is why men have made this journey. To become fully masculine, express that aspect of the First Principle and sit on the throne.
"beginning". Once more the Greek word is arch

It is the duty of all men to travel the maze, experience the pain and be transformed by it. Note once more the maze-like

quality of the seven masculine steps in the diagram below.

Have you seen something else? There are five paths that lead directly into First Principle from Goodness, Power, Glory, Understanding and Wisdom. There are three feminine paths, from Goodness, Glory and Understanding; one masculine path from Wisdom; and one combined path from Power. All three journeys end at the same place, but the female journey takes pride of place. Thus our understanding emphasises the feminine as especially important. It follows logically that women must take an active role in the Church as clergy. In the cases where this already happens, the mistake has been made for women to fulfill mens roles. They are women priests instead of being priestesses.

We shall not assist Sofia until women fulfill their archetypal duty of love, mercy and healed sexuality. Male clergy have trouble doing this even if they have found their feminine side. *******

It is time for a rest because the worst has yet to come. The journey of the deep masculine, the Gnostic ascent of the soul. It can only be accomplished by men who have felt their pain, whose wounds are sacraments and who have completed the outer masculine journey.

Greek Kabala
Part 13
It is the privilege of men to perform their journey twice. The first time is to feel their pain and discover their sacramental wound. The second time is to experience the ascent of the soul and set into motion the hidden processes of the kosmos in order to efface karma and redirect their future incarnations. Although women have to do this too, we are dealing with archetypal principles and therefore speak in terms of gender-specific roles.

We have all heard of the Egyptian and Tibetan Books of the Dead. Did you know there are Christian Books of the Dead? They are the gnostic Books of Ieou. Christ is the central figure and to understand His role in those books, we need to know that they were written by ethnic Egyptians who became Christians in the late Hellenistic period, that is c100-300 CE. They undoubtedly transformed their ancient beliefs as expressed in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, into a Christian form. Thus Christ combines the roles of, Horus as the conductor of souls, Anubis as the performer of the balance, Maat as the principle of truth against which the actions of the deceased are balanced, Thoth as the recorder of the result of the trial, Osiris as the judge and Typhon as the executioner. The Egyptians understood the analogy of death as initiation and the metaphor of initiation as death, because they realised that essentially, both are out of body experiences. For that reason, Christ admonishes his disciples to maintain a very high standard of discipline and action. Even a cursory reading of the Books of Ieou demonstrates this necessity.

In essence, these teachings are a transcendent mysticism, which requires years of detailed study. For the purposes of these articles, we shall focus on one issue only, the ascent of the soul.

In the Books of Ieou, Christ makes it clear that what He is teaching must be done by the soul after it leaves the body. We interpret this as a reference to the body as a vehicle of consciousness and the soul as the carrier of personal identity. This means that Christ is referring to a different level of reality from here and now. He is referring to the place of symbols, dreams, visions, images, metaphors and analogies. Thus what happens at this level of reality during initiation also happens here at death, because in both instances, the soul leaves the body to experience this reality. Therefore initiation is the metaphor for death and the near death experience is the analogy for initiation. Hence it is legitimate for us to use the hermetic and gnostic practices implied in the Books of Ieou, to explore the processes of death.

Fundamentally, the soul has to navigate the inner landscape by a conscious and deliberate visualisation that focuses on each planet in turn. That is why we have looked at the planets in the first male journey. But that is only the warm up. The second journey requires us to consider death as an initiation. Thus if the first journey is sacramental, the second journey is initiatory. That is why the second journey gives us the opportunity to redirect our future incarnations. Books of Ieou

Since you may not be familiar with the text, the relevant part is set out below: "But the paralemptai (receivers) of the Treasury of the Light come and they bring forth the soul from the body, until they pass through all the aeons and the places of the invisible God, and they take it to the Treasury of the Light. And they erase all sins which they have committed knowingly, and those which they have committed unknowingly. And they make them to be pure light. And the soul leaps continually from place to place, until it reaches the Treasury of the Light. And it passes into the interior of the watchers of the Treasury of the Light. And they (the souls) pass into the interior of the three amens. And they pass into the interior of the twins, and they pass into the interior of the triple-powered one, and they pass into the interior of the ranks of the five trees, and they pass into the interior of the seven voices. And they exist in the place which is within them, which is the place of the incomprehensible ones of the Treasury of the Light. And furthermore all these ranks give to them their seals and <their> mysteries, because they have received mysteries before they came forth from the body." Let us analyse what we are being told. First, the soul is brought forth from the body, so this is definitely an out of body experience. Secondly, sins are erased, or, karma is effaced. They are made into pure light. That is, the hidden processes of the kosmos are now activated for the liberation of the soul. This is how future incarnations are directed.

Thirdly, there is the second male journey of seven steps. The soul reaches the Treasury of the Light and: 1. Passes into the interior of the watchers. 2. Passes into the interior of the three amens. 3. Passes into the interior of the twins. 4. Passes into the interior of the triple-powered one. 5. Passes into the interior of the ranks of the five trees. 6. Passes into the interior of the seven voices. 7. Exists in the place of the incomprehensible ones.

Fourthly, the liberated soul exists in the place of the incomprehensible ones of the Treasury of the Light. Fifthly, at each step, the soul is given seals and mysteries because it received mysteries before it came forth from the body. It did that in the first journey when the man felt his pain and found his wound. Now, the deep masculine experiences the light. Let us try to grasp this by looking at it in a table:

Name Greek English I eou Attribu Meanin te g

Alfa

A,a

A, a

Watcher Moon 1st s chakra

Epsilon

E,e

E, e

3 Mercur 2nd Amens chakra y

Eta

H,h

Twins

Venus

3rd chakra

Iota

I,i

3-Power Sun ed

4th chakra

Omicro O , o n

O, o

5 Trees Mars

5th chakra

Ipsilon

U,u

7 Jupiter 6th Voices chakra

Omega W , w

O, o

Incompr Saturn 7th ehensibl chakra e Ones

Thus the Moon path has the Watchers; the Mercury path has the Three Amens; the Venus path has the Twins; the Sun path has the Triple Powered Ones; the Mars path has the Five Trees; the Jupiter path has the Seven Voices; and the Saturn path has the Incomprehensible Ones. Does all this make sense? It shouldnt. Not in a left brain way. This is all right brain, vision, revelation, imagination, intuition and inspiration. You will not understand this by reading about it. You must experience it directly. Now at last, we are talking about Christian initiation. This is the time for the fourth journey, the Christ Journey.

Greek Kabala
Part 14
All initiation is life changing. What is so special about Christian initiation? To understand this question we must go back to Greek metaphysics and mythology in order to understand the Greek concept of fate. It has three stages:

pre-incarnation, during life, and at death. It is personified as feminine archetypes as follows.

Prior to incarnation, the Tree Fates, three ugly old hags, Klotho, Lachesis and Atropos, apportion a mans share of good and evil, that is, his fate. Klotho is the spinner who by spinning the thread of his life creates the foundation of his experiences. Lachesis measures the thread of his glory (or its opposite) and Atropos exercises the power to cut it.

During life, a man has to contend with three goddesses: Anangke, Tyche and Nemessis. The first, Anangke, means Necessity. She personifies the greatness of the law of moral cause and effect and is karma in its strict application. Therefore she is remorselessly predictable unless some other factor mitigates her action. The second, Tyche, means Chance not in the scientific sense of randomness, but rather in the sense of chaos theory that is, deterministic but unpredictable. Thus she modifies her sisters conduct but makes things worse because she makes it hard for a man to have victory over his fate. The third is Nemessis and her name means Divine Anger. She is utterly ruthless, pitiless and merciless. She pursues a man to the ends of the Earth. There is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. She knows. It is her knowledge of our actions, thoughts and feelings that makes her so terrible.

At death, the three Keres, agents of the Tree Fates, carry out the grim duty of execution. They carry the dead mans soul to the place of shadows. The Keres are really the Three Fates in another form because they sit on the boundary of life and death.

Is all of this depressing? It should be. For the Greeks, initiation was designed to liberate them from the wrath of these dreadful females. By initiation in the Greek mystery schools a man sought what we now call salvation. Christian initiation added a new dimension to previous practices. The Christian factor is the forgiveness of sins. Our problem is that we have no idea what this means. We think that nothing more is required than for the priest to say: "Bless you my son/daughter, your sins are forgiven." If that were true you would not be reading this article now. Moreover, the history of the last 2,000 years would have been radically different. Clearly, something is wrong with our understanding. There is something missing.

Fate is the law of moral consequence that transforms us as spiritual beings. Our moral choices change our fate and therefore change our future incarnations. By accepting personal responsibility, we change our lives. By changing our lives, we change the world. The key to the problem is this: our society lives on the principle of self-gratification

and "feel good". Thus Greek fate acts inexorably and mercilessly upon us. What evidence do we want? Drugs, crime, suicide, poverty, depression, despair? Under Greek fate, we get exactly what we ask for, without pity or mitigation. But at the very moment we accept personal responsibility and make moral choices, we begin to efface our karma and ameliorate our fate. We are on the brink of understanding the Christian mystery of the forgiveness of sins. This is the extra factor that takes us to Christian initiation and salvation. Let us look at all of this on the Tree of Life in order to make sense of it.

Greek fate is locked into a rigid pattern as shown in the above diagram. The Three Fates and the three goddesses are implacable and immovable. Cause creates remorseless effect, without mercy. No wonder the ancient Greek dramas were concerned with the tragedy of human life. Greek initiation involved great difficulty and it still does because of the way in which our society functions today. The real tragedy is that it is easier now, to be liberated, but we have not yet understood what is required of us. The Christian initiation brings the factor that breaks the deadlock it brings the forgiveness of sins. The greatest tragedy of all is that we do not understand that the other side of forgiveness is the acceptance of personal responsibility.

By making moral choices we set into motion the hidden processes of the kosmos that inevitably efface our karma by "forgiving our sins". Thus on the Tree above,
!

! !

! !

We spin our life thread so that it becomes the Foundation of our life. We measure our thread to Glorify our life. We exercise our Power of choice to cut the thread when we should do so. Our true Greatness is the understanding of necessity. Our Victory is the triumph over apparently chance and

meaningless events. Our Knowledge averts the terrible process of a rigid fate. By choosing Christ, we choose to accept personal responsibility and set into motion the forgiveness of sins.

These are the hidden processes of the kosmos. The activating factor is our moral choice. The Christian mystery is revealed by Christ but, we must choose Him. We must make the Christ Journey. The beginning of this Journey is the conscious choice to activate our repressed right brain functions and balance them with our very well developed left brain functions. Again we turn to the Tree for assistance.

Our right brain functions are the Inspiration that comes from true knowledge, the Imagination that is the basis of all human greatness and the Intuition that alone can bring victory to our life struggles. These blessings are bestowed upon us when we choose to undergo Christian initiation. It has three steps: Probation, Illumination and Initiation. The mystery of the forgiveness of sins becomes direct experience when all this is done by the exercise of moral choice. The point is that according to the Books of Ieou the ascent of the soul in full consciousness comes with the forgiveness of sins. That is, the second male journey can now commence. That journey is far beyond the scope of these articles.

But we still have to get to Probation, Illumination and Initiation. How do we do that? That is what the Christ Journey is about. We shall end this series by examining

Greek Kabala
Part 15
The Christ Journey takes us to Probation, Illumination and Initiation. They in turn lead us to the faculties of Inspiration, Imagination and Intuition. Thus gifted, we can perform the

ascent of the soul in full consciousness. In this article we examine the Christ Journey with its 3 stages and 10 steps. The 3 stages are the 3 pillars on the Tree of Life. The 10 steps are the 10 spheres on the Tree. Let us look at this in totality.

3 Stages

The abstract principles of the spheres have been personified in order to give us an image to act as a compass as we navigate the Tree. This activates the faculty of Imagination and that gives us the clue for where to begin.

Let us commence with the left pillar as the first stage because Imagination is the true Greatness of humanity and is therefore found in sphere 8. This is personified as Peter, the rock upon which Christ built His Church. It took great Imagination to see such a vision when Peter failed so badly, by denying Christ three times just before the Crucifixion. Next we go to sphere 5 and John the Baptist. It was his Illumination that recognised the Son of God and his Power that performed the Baptism. Sphere 3 completes this pillar with the Understanding of Mary as the Mother of Sorrows. If she does not understand our pain, who can? Thus the left pillar of Righteousness has the formula:

Righteousness = Greatness + Power + Understanding


Imagination/Illumination

Next we go to the right pillar as the second stage, because it is the polar opposite of the left. It is the Intuition of Mary Magdalene in sphere 7 that gives her Victory. After all, the prostitute anoints the king and this is the Victory of the feminine principle. John the Beloved in sphere 4 reveals the Glory of Christs love and His plan for our salvation. Initiation is another way of explaining salvation and John the Beloved is an obvious example of the result of Initiation. Finally in sphere 2 we have the Wisdom of Joseph as the personified Father. Little is seen or heard of Joseph and just like Our Father, he must be experienced through the Son. The right pillar of Mercy has the formula:

Mercy = Victory + Glory + Wisdom

Intuition/Initiation

The third stage is the middle pillar of Grace. We must all begin the Christ Journey as Probationers and we must imitate Christ. He has a Virgin Birth into the Kingdom but what does that mean for us? We need to emerge into the spiritual life with a minimum standard of consciousness. How do we reach that standard? Have you tried the 12 disciplines lately? The Foundation of Christs mission is His Baptism because that is when He begins. For us it is a higher level of consciousness. Next, His act of Choice leads to His Transfiguration. In our lives Choice is the factor that helps us to break out of the grip of implacable fate by invoking the forgiveness of sins; truly, Goodness made manifest. What follows is very unpleasant for our "feel good" society. The Crucifixion leads to Death and Resurrection. This is a deep mystery for us, but it is the ultimate Knowledge and gives us the Inspiration to live as full human beings. Remember that to be liberated, we must have every human experience. We achieve that when we know . Finally, there is the Ascension that for us means the full conscious union with the First Principle just as for Christ it means full conscious union with the Father. Truly, Grace is the result of this. The formula for the middle pillar of Grace is: Grace = Kingdom + Foundation + Goodness + Knowledge + First Principle

Probation/Inspiration

But there is something more isnt there? The pillar of Grace has an extra element when compared with the left and right pillars. It has the non-sphere of Knowledge and that is activated by the Crucifixion. This is the sacrificial and voluntary Death and Resurrection without which Grace will not flow. The Church teaches that we get Grace without deserving it. Once more look at your life and ask whether Grace has flowed to you without effort on your part. Our understanding points out the obvious, that Knowledge is the activating principle that causes Grace to flow into our lives. Why does it not happen easily? To answer that question, ask yourself: have you put aside the self-gratification of "feel good" and have you sought Crucifixion?

Greek Kabala
Part 16
The 10 steps of the Christ Journey are performed in reverse

order on the Tree, that is, from bottom to top, from Kingdom to First Principle. That is why we begin as Probationers. We are on probation until we receive Inspiration from Knowledge. Then we proceed with divine guidance to the end of the Journey. Step 1 Kingdom

The Gospels are very clear that the Kingdom is at hand all around us, but we cannot see it. We need a Virgin Birth experience in order perceive our inheritance. First, this means that Mary the Virgin is right here in this metaphysical place. Please refer back to the first step in the feminine journey as to who she is and what she means. Secondly, she is the dark yin aspect and polar opposite of the light yang aspect that exists in the First Principle. Without this great polarity the Tree of Life would not manifest. Thirdly, to experience the required state of consciousness we must practice the 12 disciplines because they are the minimum standard of behaviour. Fourthly we must have performed the combined, feminine and masculine journeys. Self-gratification is a lot easier isnt it? From now on all comments will be made on the assumption that the three lower journeys (combined, feminine, masculine) have been completed.

Step 2 Foundation

We need the change of consciousness symbolised by the Baptism. There are in fact three baptisms: water, Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16), because there are three pillars on the Tree of Life and three stages to the Christ Journey. Baptism is a change of consciousness. As Step 2, it is the Foundation of our spiritual experience. The first path for us to tread is a (alfa) attributed to the Moon. Here the journey of the deep
masculine, the ascent of the soul, begins to emerge because we are taking this step in full consciousness. Our personal Baptism is a change of consciousness. Now we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Step 3 Greatness

Throughout the Gospels, Peter is depicted as having trouble grasping what is required of him until Pentecost, when he is infused with the Holy Spirit. Thus we see the left brain intellect transformed into Imagination. To get to him we must

(beta), Aries, from Kingdom and d(delta), Gemini, from Foundation. Here we get to the key to unlocking the rigid and merciless fate that awaits us. This is where we become conscious of the workings of fate and therefore, of the effects of our moral choices. This is true Greatness.
tread the paths of b

Step 4 Victory

(gamma), Taurus, from Kingdom, e (epsilon), Mercury on the ascent of the soul from Foundation and h (eta), Venus on the ascent of the soul from Greatness. She is the Victory of desire over intellect. This is the basis for Intuition as a spiritual faculty. We feel truth rather than perceive it as concepts. Our moral choices are instinctively correct rather than calculated. This is a different way of approaching our fate. Remember how Mary washes Jesus feet with her tears and wipes them with her hair? In the end she anoints Him and it is her intuition that guides her moral choice. It is her intuition that
To experience Mary Magdalene we must tread the paths of g

transforms her from prostitute into priestess. We can learn a great deal from Mary.

Step 5 Goodness

(zeta), Cancer from Foundation, q (theta), Earth from Greatness and k (kappa), Leo from Victory. Goodness is revealed in the person of Christ as He is thoroughly transformed. He is flanked by Elijah as the left pillar of Righteousness and Moses as the right pillar of Mercy. Beneath Him are Peter (path from Greatness), James (path from Foundation) and John (path from Victory). For the whole experience, refer to Matthew 17:1-27, Mark 9:2-32 and Luke 9:28-45. This is where we are able to exercise moral choice in such a way as to set into motion the mystery of the forgiveness of sins and efface our karma. This is the experience that breaks the deadlock of implacable fate and allows us to work towards our liberation. It does not mean that the way ahead is easy, far from it, but now we have a good basis for faith and belief. For us, such an internal transformation, is yet another change of consciousness. We are now able to make conscious and deliberate moral choices with the express purpose of changing our fate and our future incarnations.
This is the Transfiguration and it changes our nature completely. We tread the path of z

******* Greatness + Victory = Goodness; Imagination + Intuition = Choice

*******

Step 6 Power

(iota) and the Sun on the ascent of the soul from Greatness (is he not great?) and via m (mi) and Libra from Goodness (is he not good?). He is the great Illuminator and performs the rite that begins Christs mission. He has a similar function for us, if we can use our Imagination. Remember that the path of the Sun connects Imagination directly with Illumination. There is a very close relationship between Illumination and Initiation as we shall see with John the Beloved. The Power to illuminate flows into the glory revealed by our initiation.
Only John the Baptist has such Power. He is approached by i

Step 7 Glory

The love embodied by John the Beloved can only be described as Glory because no other word is adequate. If you have followed the Journey so far, Imagination plus Intuition lead to Choice. We can then choose Illumination and Initiation. The steps are cumulative in their effect. Be very certain that at this stage of our inner journey, there are no accidents and no random, meaningless events. Everything that occurs to us is the result of our choices. We choose Initiation either consciously or unconsciously. It is often a very painful experience. We approach John via l (lambda),

Virgo from Victory, n (ni), Scorpio from Goodness and o (omicron), Mars on the ascent of the soul from Power. We can see that the steps are cumulative in their effect and they are building up to a climactic event, the Knowledge that can only come from Death and Resurrection.

Non-Sphere Knowledge

This is the Crucifixion. Notice how the paths literally cross at this point on the Tree. Traditionally this place on the Tree is regarded as the Abyss and this explains why Knowledge is not a sphere in actual manifestation. It has to be brought out of the darkness by blood and sacrifice, by Death and Resurrection. Only by dying and living again do we know ; all else is idle speculation. But from Knowledge comes Inspiration and this guides us with certainty and truth. Is the sacrifice worth it or is "feel good" better? There is no polite way to say this: we must offer ourselves up for Crucifixion as a living sacrifice. The result is Gnosis and that is yet again, a radical change in consciousness. The moral choices we make to activate the forgiveness of sins must have a higher purpose than simply to let us off the hook of our fate. By choosing with Knowledge we gain the Inspiration to do Gods work. There can be no other reason for struggling to get to this point.

(xi), Water from Goodness, r (rho), Capricorn from Power and t(tav), Pisces from Glory. Mary Magdalene is here and her experience is part of the process of bringing Knowledge out of the darkness. This change of consciousness is so radical that we can hardly imagine what it may mean. That is why it has to be experienced and not read about. The literal crossing of the paths is significant and indicates that our personal crucifixion is not merely a symbolic statement.
We approach the Death and Resurrection experience via x

To get to Knowledge from below its position on the Tree we follow the formula: Knowledge = Goodness + Power + Glory

Inspiration = Choice + Illumination + Initiation

Understanding the formula gives us an insight into the process. Knowledge transmutes into Inspiration as a consequence of our Choice to undergo Illumination and Initiation. In turn, the Choice for Inspiration is the Choice for personal Crucifixion, Death and Resurrection. What will we choose when we get to this point? Self-gratification, "feel good", avoidance, denial? We have already made all of these choices in the past. The above diagram helps us to understand our position by putting all the spheres into a context of Crucifixion because above Knowledge we have Understanding, Wisdom and First Principle. Follow the paths:

Initiation (Glory) Inspiration

(Knowledge) Understanding Illumination (Power) Inspiration (Knowledge) Wisdom Choice (Goodness) Inspiration (Knowledge) First Principle

Knowledge is transmuted into Inspiration by the Crucifixion and this is put into motion by Choice, our personal choice for Death and Resurrection. Do you still want to know ?

Greek Kabala
Part 17
It is impossible to overstate the importance of Knowledge as a part of the process of spiritual transformation we call the Christ Journey. It is actually impossible to "know" Knowledge as a left brain concept. Knowledge is an experience and that is why we can only "know" it by Crucifixion. In a further attempt to grasp the ungraspable, let us return to the pentagram that we first saw in Part 3 of this series.

Knowledge emerges out of and is therefore the consequence of a dynamic interplay of forces. (Have you seen the pun? The word "dynamic" comes from the Greek word "Dynamis" which means "Power"). As a formula it looks like this:

First Principle Glory Understanding Wisdom Power First


Principle

= Knowledge

There is a sense in which we must first grasp all the other spheres of the Tree before we can bring forth the non-sphere of Knowledge. That is why we must do the combined, feminine and masculine journeys before the Christ Journey. The emergence of Knowledge on the Tree is a higher version of the Virgin Birth. This means that we are dealing with a deep mystery and it therefore requires all the right brain processes of Imagination, Intuition, Illumination and Initiation, which we must activate by a positive Choice. Again we note that this implies a radical change of our consciousness. Step 8 Understanding

Can we now "understand" Understanding? Probably not and that is why we need Mary as the Mother of Sorrows to personify the concept. In this capacity Mary is not only the Mother, she is also the Widow. It is as well to remember that the non-sphere of Knowledge involves Mary both as the Virgin (in a form of the Virgin Birth) and also as the experience of the Magdalene. It is in this context that Understanding follows Knowledge. We must be very clear on this, Knowledge is the first part of a process of which Understanding is the second and Wisdom is the third. What is it that we must understand? Mary as the Virgin gives birth to the Redeemer then as the Mother and Widow, watches Him die in order to live again. Can we truly "understand"? Only if we imitate Mary in all her aspects. That is a very tall order indeed.

We approach Mary via p (pi),

Sagittarius from Power and t (tav), Pisces from Glory through Knowledge. The formula is:

Understanding = Power + Glory + Knowledge

Every Sunday morning we intone the Lords Prayer and say, "|..for thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory||", as a matter of routine. What do we "understand" by this?

Note also that Mary stands at the top of the left pillar of Righteousness and this is the first stage of the Christ Journey. Thus she embodies the Greatness of Imagination and the Power of Illumination within her own Understanding. We need to "understand" all of these principles in order to "know" Understanding.

Step 9 Wisdom

The path that connects Understanding with Wisdom is very subtle because the difference between the two concepts is itself very subtle. It is easy to confuse one with the other, but they must be kept apart in dynamic (that word again)

(chi) and Fire. It is the path of the Widow on the feminine journey and needs to seen as a part of the Resurrection process. We are reminded of the widowed Isis and her role in the resurrection of the dead Osiris. In our case, we already know that Mary (as the Mother and Widow) stands at the foot of the Cross when Christ dies and this is linked to Mary Magdalene with her part in the process. If we "understand" Mary as Virgin, Mother and Widow, together with Mary Magdalene as the priestess, to be aspects of Sofia, then the picture emerges. But note that we need that level of consciousness we call Knowledge so that we can Understand with Wisdom and be Wise with Understanding.
tension. This is the path of c

(rho), Capricorn from Power through Knowledge and u (ipsilon), Jupiter on the ascent of the soul from Glory. There is something very interesting here. We are dealing with the paths of C ,c (chi), R ,r (rho) and U ,u (ipsilon). The letters Cr(chi/rho) are the first two letters of CristoV (Christ) and U (ipsilon) is written with a fork above a single stroke. The Gnostics used this letter to denote the Person of the Son with his dual Nature of Human and Divine. The formula is:
We also approach Joseph via r Wisdom = Power + Knowledge + Glory

Wisdom is personified by Joseph as the earthly aspect of the Great Father. Just like Our Father, we see and hear little of Joseph and the emphasis remains upon the Son. The supreme act of Wisdom by Joseph is to listen to the instruction he receives from the angel and to marry the already pregnant Mary. Wisdom is the act that is based not upon ignorant and blind obedience, but upon Knowledge of what is involved and Understanding of what must be done. Is this how we normally act? Really?

Joseph stands at the top of the right pillar of Mercy and embodies the Victory of Intuition and the Glory of Initiation, within his own Wisdom. We need to "understand" all of these principles in order to "know" Wisdom.

Step 10 First Principle

This is the Ascension into a completely incomprehensible level of consciousness. It is a Virgin Birth into a state that we cannot "understand" in any sense of that word. We can do little more than note that we approach this sphere via:

1.x (xi), Water from Goodness through Knowledge. This is the second feminine step of Mary Magdalene with its
connotations of anointing the Redeemer and assisting in His Resurrection.

2.s (sigma), Aquarius from Power.

3.f (fi), Air from Glory. This is the third feminine step of the Mother who gives the Virgin Birth.

4.y (psi), Aether from Understanding. This is the fifth feminine step and the Assumption of Mary as Sofia. The final step
of the feminine journey ends appropriately with the First Principle. The dark yin reunites with the light yang . The Mother joins the Redeemer to whom she gave Birth as a Virgin.

5.w (omega), Saturn on the ascent of the soul from Wisdom. Again, appropriately, the final step of the masculine journey
in both its outer and inner aspects ends with the First Principle.

First Principle stands at the top of the middle pillar of Grace and is truly the pillar of consciousness where the great initiations of the Christ Journey are performed. There are five initiations from the bottom of the Tree up to the top and we must imitate Christ in all of them. Each Initiation involves a change in our level of consciousness and this is personified by the images we have considered:

Virgin Birth, Baptism, Transfiguration, Death/Resurrection, Ascension

This is how we can understand Grace, as the natural consequence of the completion of the Christ Journey. In that sense it is a deep mystery because although it encompasses the forgiveness of sins, it is a much greater concept than that. The point is subtle because these two concepts are confused by the old theology and that is why we are told by it not to worry and have faith because Grace is freely given without merit or work on our part. Really? Have you seen it in your life? It is

easier to "feel good" isnt it?

Let us end this journey by examining the five stages of transformation as they affect our levels of conscious awareness:

1.Virgin Birth: as a result of the combined, feminine and masculine journeys, we emerge into a state of consciousness of
a new spiritual reality.

2.Baptism: like Jesus, we become aware of our mission for this life. This experience is characterised by the statement,
"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22).

3.Transfiguration: like Jesus, we are totally transformed and receive authority from that experience. This is characterised
by the statement, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him" (Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35). Authority comes from the extra statement, "hear ye him". This is therefore a cumulative change from the previous stage.

4.Death/Resurrection: we must choose to die so that we live and therefore to know.

5.Ascension: we enter the gateless gate to the pathless path that lies beyond. We cannot even imagine what this level of
consciousness is like. It is however a state in which we no longer need the structured and disciplined action provided by the Tree of Life. We are truly free to make our own way.

*******

We have come a long way on all these journeys and it has been very tiring. You were warned though and cannot complain that you did not know what you were doing. The fundamental principle of all these journeys is personal responsibility and now you can understand why that is so.

You might have guessed, but this is only the beginning. All you have seen in these articles is an introduction to the Great Work of Salvation. Much can be written but in the end, it is all empty words unless you take responsibility for yourself. Make moral choices, change your fate and direct your future incarnations.

*******

As a post-script, the last article in this series will examine the relationship between the Greek and Hebrew Trees of Life.

Greek Kabala
Part 18
Let us finish this series as we began, by considering the relationship between Greek and Hebrew kabala. The Fibonacci spirals of a sunflower give us a good visual analogy. They are similar in their form and cross over each other, but they go in different directions. We shall consider the Greek and Hebrew Trees of Life in the same way and take note of where they are similar and where they differ.

There is a common centre in the above diagram in the form of a circle. This manifests in the Greek and Hebrew Trees as the 10 spheres and 3 pillars common to both. That is, they each have the same fundamental structure as their starting point. We can therefore deduce that they both describe the same truth in their own way.

There are crossing points in the diagram that manifest on the

Trees as the 12 and 7 paths common to them. In both the Greek and Hebrew Trees the 12 paths correlate with the 12 signs of the zodiac. We can therefore draw the inference that at some deeper level, the 12 spiritual disciplines apply to both. This tells us that the same minimum standard of behaviour works in each case. The 7 paths both correlate to the 7 planets and we can infer that the ascent of the soul can be achieved by either system.

The most obvious difference is that although the remaining paths correlate with Alchemy, there are only 3 such paths on the Hebrew Tree (Air, Fire, Water) whereas the Greek Tree has all 5 (Aether, Air, Fire, Water, Earth). The real difference emerges from realising that this difference in the number of paths results in a difference in the internal structure of the Tree. The best example is that on the Hebrew Tree there are 8 paths to Tiferet whereas on the Greek Tree there are 6 paths to Goodness:

What is the significance of this difference? To answer that question we have to consider the way in which the number 8 appears in the scriptures. For example Jesus says, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!||", 8 times in Matthew 23:13-36. This is a clear reference to the Hebrew Tree because he is describing behaviour that is the opposite of what is required in order to activate Tiferet properly. To help us understand the point, let us borrow from the Lord Buddha and his Noble Eightfold Way:

1 Right understanding. 2 Right motives. 3 Right speech. 4 Right action. 5 Right means of livelihood. 6 Right endeavour. 7 Right attention. 8 Right contemplation.

The 8 paths to Tiferet are the 8 ways of right conduct, or the Noble Eightfold Way. If we act in the right way, we shall activate all 8 paths to Tiferet properly. However if we act as the scribes and Pharisees (and dont we?), then we are behaving in the opposite manner and we simply cannot activate Tiferet correctly. The consequences are all around us in our everyday life. What about the Greek Tree with its 6

paths to Goodness? Jesus says, "Woe unto you|.", 6 times in Luke 11;42-52. Thus a subtly different point is being made in apparently the same form. It still has to do with our behaviour but our attention is now being drawn to the consequences in terms of our fate. Remember this diagram? It represents the fate we create by our own actions.

At the centre of merciless and implacable fate, there exists the mystery of the forgiveness of sins as the key that unlocks us from its prison bars. Who is the source of forgiveness? He that looks at us directly in the eye and says "Woe unto you!" On the Christ Journey this is the place of the Transfiguration and hence the place of the fundamental change that we must make in our own nature. This unlocks the merciless fate that we create for ourselves by not heeding the 6-fold warning of "Woe!"

Another difference between the two Trees is that the 22 Major Arcana of the Tarot correlate with the 22 paths of the Hebrew Tree but do not match up with the 24 paths of the Greek Tree. That means the Tarot cannot be used in conjunction with the Greek Tree. This brings into focus the true nature of the Tarot cards. Fundamentally they are a series of ikons that are connected to each other by the internal logic and relationship of the Tarot system. What then is the function of ikons? They are doorways to the next level of reality because we can use our imagination to project ourselves through them and have direct experience of the other side. Are there ikons connected with the Greek Tree? Certainly and we have already seen 10 of them in the Christ Journey. The challenge is to identify 24 ikons from the scriptures to fit the 24 paths. This is the subject of a further series of articles.

Thus the internal structure of the Greek and Hebrew Trees and the differences and similarities between them, can give us a clue to the meaning of the scriptures. If you look at the spiral diagram again, it provides the analogy of how the two Trees interact. That is an important insight and the guide to future research. Happy reading.

The Divine Comedy and Kabala


Dante Alighieri 1265 - 1321
by Jack Courtis

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) was born in Florence, during a period of intense political rivalry between the Papal party (the Guelphs) and the Imperial party (the Ghibellines). Dantes family supported the Guelphs and with their military victory a few months after Dantes birth, his family prospered politically. Years later, Dante was exiled because of his political affiliation, and suffered a great deal from that experience. Much has been made of his persecution as an explanation of his poetry. Equally, a great deal has been said about his love for Beatrice and the influence this is assumed to have had upon his writing. However, little thought seems to have been given to Dantes classical education and the impact of this upon his greatest work, the Divine Comedy. He was educated by Franciscan monks and was greatly influenced by scholars, philosophers and poets. He began writing poetry before he was twenty and became associated with the "sweet new style", whereby poets exalted their love and their ladies, in philosophical verse. Dantes "lady" was Beatrice. Today, we would have little trouble in understanding Beatrice to be Dantes inner feminine. This becomes very obvious in his Divine Comedy. Nevertheless, there was a "real" Beatrice to whom Dante dedicated his Vita Nuova, a sequence of poems with prose comments in which he describes his fleeting contacts with her, from their first meeting when they were both nine years old, until her death at twenty-four. Rather too much has been made of their earthly love and too little of the mystical

significance of their relationship. This article will concentrate upon the esoteric interpretation of the Divine Comedy. Although Dantes classical and philosophical education was extensive, we cannot say for certain that he followed specific doctrines. In this article we will see that at the very least, he wrote consistently with what might be termed Christian kabala. We will only examine the broad structure of his work, because he wrote in great detail of both classical and contemporary issues that are beyond the scope of this article. First, the Divine Comedy is in 3 parts; Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. This is not only a reference to the Christian Trinity, but also a reference to the three-fold structure of the Hermetic kosmos. His classical education should not be underestimated. Secondly, he writes 34 cantos for Inferno and 33 cantos for each of Purgatorio and Paradiso. If the first canto of Inferno is understood as an introduction to his entire work, then there are 33 cantos that relate specifically to Inferno. So what does 33 mean? Obviously, it alludes to the age of Christ at his crucifixion and resurrection. A superficial reading of the Divine Comedy suggests a parallel in Dantes own life experiences. However, 33 also alludes to the kabalistic Tree of Life. There are 32 internal paths on the Tree and then there is the external 33rd path that leads to God.

Thirdly, Dante writes in terza rima; [a poetic rhyme pattern] aba, bcb, cdc, and so on. Thus the number 3 is present in every part of his work, from the broad structure, to the detail. Fourthly, there is the internal structure of each of the 3 parts of the Divine Comedy. That is the focus of this article. Let us now examine Inferno. Dante is spiritually asleep and lost in a dark wood. He meets Virgil, the greatest of the Latin poets. It soon becomes clear that Virgil is performing the function known in the mystery schools as the "Conductor of Souls". Virgil leads Dante through Hell. Hell Circle I Circle II Circle III Circle IV Circle V Circle VI Circle VII Limbo: Unbaptized Carnal Sinners Gluttons Avaricious & Prodigal Wrathful & Melancholy Heretics Violence & Bestiality:

Round I Tyrants & Marauders Round II Suicides & Spendthrifts Round III Blasphemers Circle VIII Fraud Pauch I Seducers Pouch II Flatterers Pouch III Simoniacs Pouch IV Diviners Pouch V Barterers Pouch VI Hypocrites Pouch VII Thieves Pouch VIII Evil Counselors Pouch IX Schismatics Pouch X Falsifiers Well of the Giants

Circle IX

Treachery to: Ring I Kindred Ring II Country Ring III Hospitality Ring IV Lords & Benefactors

Lucifer What does the structure point to? Let us look at the numbers. There are 9 Circles plus the Well of the Giants; 9 + 1 = 10. There are 10 sefirot on the Tree of Life. The Tree also has a 9 + 1 = 10 structure: Keter + Chakhmah + Binah; Chesed + Gevurah + Tiferet; Netzchah + Hod + Yesod; Malkhut (alone). The Tree has a division between 6 upper and 4 lower sefirot. They are divided by the Veil. Dantes scheme has 6 Circles in Upper Hell and then 3 Circles plus the Well of the Giants, in Lower Hell. Looking only at the lowest Circles, they have 3, 10 and 4 sub-divisions. There

are 3 pillars on the Tree of Life, 10 sefirot and, depending upon how we look at it, 4 sub-divisions of the Tree (which correlate to the 4 Worlds). If Dante is making a cryptic reference to the Tree of Life, then the 32 internal paths lead inevitably to the external 33rd and to Lucifer, the Light Bearer. All 33 cantos describe Dantes experience in the metaphysical place of Earth; Aristotles alchemical element of Earth. Now Virgil conducts Dante across the alchemical Water and to the outskirts of Purgatory. Eventually, after meeting 4 classes of Tardy Penitents, they arrive at St Peters Gate. The penitents and the gate are all located in the alchemical element of Air. Dante falls asleep and dreams for the first time. They meet the gatekeeper, an angel who strikes Dante 3 times on the chest and paints 7 "Ps" on his forehead. This is clearly an initiation ritual. In mystery religion terms, he has entered the Pronaos of the Temple. He has moved to the alchemical element of Fire. Let us pause and note the numbers: 4 classes of penitents correlates to the 4 Worlds of the kabala; 3 + 7 initiation marks correspond to the 3 + 7 division of the Tree of Life. The 3 Supernal sefirot are divided from the 7 lower sefirot by the Abyss. Thus the 3 above are qualitatively different from the 7 below; as blows are different from painted "Ps".

Virgil conducts Dante through the gate. Let us look at the broad structure of what occurs: Purgatory Ledge I The Proud Ledge II The Envious Ledge III The Angry Ledge IV The Slothful Ledge V Ledge VI Ledge VII The Avaricious The Gluttonous The Lascivious Love Distorted Love Distorted Love Distorted Love Defective Love Excessive Love Excessive Love Excessive

Terrestrial Paradise

Significantly, Dante falls asleep and dreams a second time on Ledge III and a third time on Ledge VII. The 3 occasions of sleeping and dreaming, suggest changes in his level of consciousness. Exactly what we would expect if Dante is describing a mystery school initiation. The Ledges have a 3 + 1 + 3 = 7 structure, which is explained by the kabalistic classic, Sefer Yetzirah. We do not know whether he read this book, but the accumulating numerical structures in the Divine Comedy are too numerous to be merely a coincidence. Further, on Ledge VI Dante sees 2 mystic Trees. Gods Creation took 6 Days and included 2 Trees; The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. Genesis Ch 1-3 which includes the whole of the Creation process, is written kabalistically, but is beyond the scope of this article. Nevertheless, if Dante is not deliberately following a kabalistic scheme in his work, then the coincidences are astonishing. On a simple reading of Genesis, God took 7 Days to complete His work. Dante mirrors this with 7 Ledges. When God had finished, He had created a heavenly Paradise. At the end of his 33 cantos (32 internal + 1 external path on the Tree of Life), Dante arrives at the Terrestrial Paradise. Here, Beatrice arrives and Virgil departs. As the Conductor of Souls, Virgils function is to get Dante to the point where his Initiator takes over. That is Beatrice. It is highly significant that Dantes Initiator is feminine. There is more here than merely the Jungian outer

masculine being balanced by the inner feminine; of a poet getting in touch with his feelings. Beatrice is clearly fulfilling the role of Isis, as Queen of Heaven and Savior of the Hellenistic mysteries. Dantes formidable knowledge of the classics should not be underestimated. This is not merely a childhood romance writ large. Finally, let us examine the last part of Dantes work, Paradise. There is a subtlety in the structure that has been missed by some commentators. Although we have the familiar 33 cantos and their association with the paths on the Tree of Life, we find an internal structure of 2 x 10. Two Trees? This point will be explained below when the kabalistic Worlds are correlated with the structure of Dantes work. Let us proceed. Beatrice conducts Dante out of the alchemical Fire and into the Spheres of Lower Heaven. He has entered the Temple of the Mysteries. He ascends the Spheres in the mystery school order and is transformed at each level.

Paradise Lower Heaven

I III

Moon

II Mercury Venus

IV Sun V Mars VI Jupiter VI Saturn I VI Zodiak II IX Premium Mobile

X Empyrean

There are 10 levels and they correlate with the 10 sefirot on the Tree of Life. It is far beyond the scope of this article to describe Dantes experiences. The reader is encouraged to investigate all of this by personal effort. A hint is

provided by reference to the Gnostic practice of the Ascent of the Spheres. There is no evidence that Dante read Gnostic material, but the structure and content of his work have a direct correlation. Beatrice now takes Dante to the contemplation of the Mystic Rose. This is a further transition point and change of consciousness for Dante. Next he is conducted to Upper Heaven, the Holy of Holys of the Temple. Here he beholds the 9 Orders of Angels and the Beatific Vision. Upper Heaven I Angels II Archangels III Principalitie s

IV Virtues V Powers VI Domination s

VII Thrones VIII Cherubim

IX Serafim

Beatific Vission

Salvation Again a 10-fold structure that correlates with the 10 sefirot on the Tree of Life. The final subtlety is that the Beatific Vision is of Light, Life and Love The mystery of the 3 that is ONE. The aim of the whole process is Salvation. Let us conclude with the final observation of Dantes mystical intent. He has written 3 parts of the Divine Comedy but clearly, he alludes to 4 levels of meaning if Paradiso is seen to have two levels. Kabalistically, there are 4 Worlds and there is a Tree of Life on each World. This is how it works: Salvation Emanati Upper Atizilut on Heaven Briah Creation Lower 9 (Orders of Angels) + 1 (Beatific Vision) = 10 Levels of Tree of Life 10 Spheres of Tree of

Heaven

Life

33 cantos (32 internal + 1 Yetzira Formati Purgatory external Path) = paths of h on Tree of Life Assiah Action Hell 9 (Circles) + 1 (Well of Giants) = 10 sefirot of Tree of Life

Dante has described the kabalistic scheme of Salvation in Christian terms. There is no evidence that he studied the kabalistic texts, but the structure of the Divine Comedy is entirely consistent with kabala.

Why Studies in Kabala?

The Rosicrucian tradition and kabala are related at a deep level because they come from one truth. That truth is so abstract, that it requires metaphors, symbols and parables to explain it. The importance of that truth is that it leads to personal transformation and liberation. Christ has assured us that "ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set ye free". Then why are we not free? Why are lives full of misery and pain? Simply because although the truth is freely offered to us, we do not make the effort to receive it. That is the point, it requires effort on our part. We have to work in order to receive that which is freely given. Is that a paradox? Yes. Is that a mystery? Certainly. How is the mystery solved? By revelation. How do we get revelation? By working for it. This is the Great Work spoken of by the alchemists and adopted by the Rosicrucian tradition. The rules of the Great Work can be discovered and can be known. Then, they have to be applied in our lives. These related studies in kabala, are one person's interpretation of the rules of the Great Work.

Disciplined Action
by Jack Courtis

Of course kabala is very interesting, but what does it mean? How are we to understand it in the 21st century? What relevance does it have for our lives?

The key is the concept of self-transformation. This is what kabala is about, no matter which way we look at it. So how are we to apply kabala to ourselves in order to transform our lives? The clue is the number pattern from Genesis Ch 1 (1: 3: 7:12) and the hierarchical way in which it operates. ONE is at the top and 12 is at the bottom. Here is an interpretation of what this means.

There are 4 levels of reality which correspond to the number pattern and which are explained by kabala: 1 Unity 3 7 Atzilut Emanation Unity Creation Orientations

Principl Briah es

Process Reconsiliatio Yetzirah Formation es ns Assiah Action Disciplines

12 Steps

12 DISCIPLINES

We begin at this point because the level of Action is here and now. We begin from where we are. At this level, the process of transformation focuses on our behaviour as ordinary human beings. The key concept is discipline. Traditionally, there are 12 spiritual disciplines: 4 inner, 4 outer and 4 that are group oriented. Let us examine them, starting with the 4 inner. The word "God" will now be used frequently as a convenient shorthand. It is not limited to the Christian god. It is meant to include every conception of the

divine.

1. Fasting

Our society is dedicated to instant self-gratification. There can be no more despised spiritual discipline than fasting. What purpose does it have? Even the Church hardly mentions it. Perhaps we can approach the subject by clarifying what it is not. Fasting is not dieting - that is about vanity and egoism. Fasting is not a hunger strike - that is a political act because it is essentially about the exertion of personal power to force change in other people's behaviour. It is not about being anorexic. Fasting is about sensible control. There is more to it than food and drink. There is also the control of what we see, hear and read.

Fasting is about self-knowledge and ultimately about knowledge of God. Fasting is difficult but once mastered, sets the scene for prayer and meditation by disciplining the body and putting into proper bounds its normal loud and distracting demands.

2. Study

We remain in bondage to fears and anxieties simply because we do not want to make the effort of study. Christ said "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set ye free" (John 8:32). Good feelings will not free us; good "vibes" will not free us, only the truth.

Study as a spiritual discipline, is a specific kind of experience in which the mind concentrates on reality. Today we call this a right brain experience. Using kabalistic interpretation of the Bible as an example of the kind of study referred to, we can understand meditation as devotional and

study as analytical. Study provides the objective framework within which meditation can successfully function.

Contrast this with our normal lives. Because of television, we have an attention span of 7 minutes, the time between commercials. Study as a spiritual discipline demands concentrated attention for hours at a time. No wonder we do not study when we have computer games and TV.

3. Meditation

Very simply, it is the ability to hear God's voice and obey His word. What happens in meditation is that we create the

emotional and spiritual space that allows inner communication. Eastern meditation empties the mind. Western meditation fills the mind. Eastern meditation leads to detachment. In Nirvana there is no God to be attached to, only union and release from personality. Western meditation is precisely aimed at oneness with God; a different approach.

Our present society dislikes discipline and is geared for instant gratification. That is why meditation is so intimidating to us. It boldly calls us into the presence of God, but demands effort and sacrifice for this to be achieved. It is boring, time consuming and takes discipline. No wonder we don't like it.

4. Prayer

Real prayer transforms us because it is the deliberate setting into motion of the hidden processes of the kosmos. Instinctively we know that to pray correctly is to change. That is why we are not serious about it. We do not want to change, so we do not pray. We pretend that we do not pray either because we do not know how, or because it does not work. We fool only ourselves.

How can prayer bring change if the universe is already fixed by God's will? In real prayer we think God's thoughts, desire His desires, will His Will. Meditation attaches us to God so that through prayer we can communicate with Him. We are co-workers with God to create the future. No wonder prayer is a discipline.

******* We have looked at the 4 inner disciplines and now realise how closely interconnected they are. We cannot do just one alone; we must do all 4 together in order to make progress. Let us now see the 4 outer disciplines. Whereas the inner disciplines can to some degree be entirely private, the outer make us instantly recognisable and liable to attack, scorn and ridicule. This is why.

*******

5. Simplicity

Simplicity is freedom. Duplicity is bondage. Simplicity brings joy and balance. Duplicity brings anxiety and fear. Simplicity is an inward reality that manifests outwardly in how we live. Simplicity aims at inner unity and this liberates us outwardly. We speak truthfully and directly. We no longer crave status and position. When we achieve the inner centre we are no longer distracted by the psychotic and fragmented world we live in. Without the unity within, covetousness we call ambition; hoarding we call prudence; greed we call industry. The consumer society feeds insecurity and thrives on what it feeds.

However it needs to be said that asceticism is not the same as simplicity. Asceticism renounces possessions. Simplicity

puts them in proper perspective because it reorients our lives so that possessions can be genuinely enjoyed without destroying us.

Simplicity is the most visible of all the disciplines and therefore brings us under attack because it directly challenges the vested interests of our society. It makes us identifiably different because we are free from anxiety without being irresponsible. We share ourselves without the expectation of recognition or reward. We stand firm as the world collapses. No wonder society sees us as a threat.

6. Solitude

It must be said - solitude is not loneliness. This is important because loneliness frightens us. Our fear of being alone drives us to noise and crowds. Loneliness is inner emptiness. Solitude is inner fulfillment. It is a state of mind and heart. It is inner attentiveness.

Solitude has outer manifestations. There is the freedom to hear the "still small voice". This allows us to be with others meaningfully. Our words are few, but when we speak, we have something to say. We must also have silence to enable us to listen. The purpose of solitude and silence is to enable us to see and hear. Silence does not mean no noise. It means control. Thus we know when to speak and when not to speak. If we are silent when we should speak, we are cowards. If we speak when we should be silent, we are fools.

If we take solitude seriously, we will have the experience of the "dark night of the soul". It sets us free, because it allows for inner transformation. It is terrifying and unimaginably painful. However, the result is sensitivity and compassion. This is freedom from the fear of being alone and from the emptiness inside us.

7. Submission

It is easy to despise this discipline. In this age we have rights but no responsibilities. We submit to no one. What possible transformative qualities can submission have? We think of a submissive person as being weak and cowardly. Perhaps as dependent or manipulative. This is a misunderstanding. Submission is about self-denial. But this too is despised, even though Christ said "if any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Mark 8:34).

We would rather speak of self-fulfillment and self-actualisation, than of self-denial. We think it means self hatred and self rejection. The measure of our error is the degree to which self-denial leads to freedom. It means the freely accepted re-orientation of our relationships. We are free moral agents and have personal moral responsibility. Submission means acting responsibly. Self-denial means getting our relationships right by placing the interests of them above our own.

8. Service

True service does not involve self-righteousness. It requires a correct relationship with our inner being. Self-righteous service requires external rewards. It seeks applause and recognition. True service is hidden. Self-righteous service is greatly concerned with results. True service is free of the need to calculate results. It serves friends and enemies. Self-righteous service chooses who to help. True service does not choose. Self-righteous service is temporary. True service is a life style. It acts when needed. Self-righteous service is insensitive. True service listens patiently and waits in silence.

Self-righteous service is egotistical. It is a subtle and destructive form of manipulation. True service binds, heals and builds. Service leads to humility. Nothing disciplines our ego like service and nothing transforms our desires like hidden service.

But will people take advantage of us? This is the difference between service and being a servant. If we choose service we are still in charge. There is great freedom in this. Voluntary service is a great joy. And what about letting others serve us? This is more difficult than we imagine, because we often have a self -image of worthlessness.

Service is the reasoned concern for the well being of all.

*******

The first 8 disciplines have been concerned with the individual. If we can devote time and effort to them, the transformative process must take place. It is automatic. Then we become a living catalyst for the transformation of others by taking part in the group disciplines.

*******

9. Confession

At the heart of God is the desire to give and to forgive. We cannot be forgiven unless we first confess. It is important to understand that we are not speaking of psychological therapy. The transformation of our inner being involves an

objective change in our relationship with God and a subjective change in us. It brings about a healing and a transformation of our spirit.

Confession is difficult for us in this age. We live in a secular society. After all, now that God is dead, psychiatrists have replaced Him, haven't they? We cannot bear to reveal our failures and shortcomings to others. Therefore we hide ourselves from one another behind a veil of hypocrisy and lies. Fear and pride cling to us. If we trusted each other sufficiently to confess and forgive, we would release the power that transforms and heals. This is why this is a group discipline.

When we confess to another we are communicating at a deep level, we are no longer alone. We experience the presence of God in the other person. We see ourselves as we truly are without self-deceit. Self-knowledge is a great transformer, but we need each other's help. This is how we begin to learn we are brothers and sisters. Our relationships have been transformed.

10. Worship

To worship is to experience reality, to touch life. It is to know the divine in the community. Worship is the human response to God's love for us. Forms and rituals do not produce worship, but nor does the disuse of forms and rituals. Until God touches our spirit, we cannot react in true worship.

How difficult all this is for our society. If we do not believe that God is dead, we certainly think that He is far away and unresponsive. In these circumstances it is embarrassing to worship as part of a group. And yet, this is how we develop our relationship with God and with the divine in each other. This is why worship is a group discipline.

To think rightly about God is, in an important sense, to have everything right. Just so, to think wrongly about God, is to have everything wrong. We desperately need to see who God is, to receive His mercy and love. When we achieve this, worship comes naturally. It is not forced and is not even embarrassing. It is a deep inner fellowship where the divine in each person touches all. We transform from the many to the ONE. To worship truly, is to transform totally.

Worship is the deliberate and determined experience of reality.

11. Guidance

Guidance can be experienced after prayer, fasting and worship have been mastered to some extent. Since it is a group discipline, guidance has to be the result of group effort in the other disciplines. It is a group experiencing and knowing the mind of God. But be warned, this is not about committee meetings and majority rule; it is about unanimity. It is about unity of purpose not mere agreement that is the result of bargaining.

To know the mind of God is to hear the voice of God. To do so as a group is very difficult.

Today, it is normal to look for a spiritual guide, usually called a "guru". Spiritual guidance emerges out of natural, spontaneous human relationships. Thus, a spiritual guide must be a person who has developed the 12 spiritual disciplines and therefore begun the process of self-transformation. Thus he (or she) can be calm in the midst of tumult and therefore be able to absorb selfishness, aggression, mediocrity and apathy around him and transform them. He will be compassionate and unshakable. The spiritual guide must first transform himself before he can transform others.

There is something about group dynamics that accelerates individual progress when the whole group moves forward under the direction of a spiritual guide. This is the most radical of the spiritual disciplines because it goes to the heart of the process of self-transformation.

12. Celebration

Celebration is at the centre of the spiritual life. This is because that life brings freedom and new relationships with God and with others. Freedom from anxiety and care forms basis for celebration.

We find it strange to think of celebration as a spiritual discipline, but our society is characterised by apathy and pessimism, even depression. That is why we need it. Celebration brings joy into life and joy makes us strong. Without joy, all the other disciplines are dull and boring. Joy gives us the energy to keep the other disciplines going. Freedom from anxiety and care forms the basis for celebration.

In the spiritual life, joy is produced when we realise that there is an order implied in the universe and we actively immerse ourselves in that order. God's will then becomes our will and God's work becomes our work. Genuine celebration comes when we are transformed by our identification with God's will.

*******

The group disciplines only work if we have transformed ourselves as individuals and become living catalysts for the group. To discipline ourselves to work with the group is an act of service. It makes us vulnerable and open to be hurt. But our own progress is linked to the progress of the group. We are not alone in an empty and meaningless universe. There is a vast purpose being unfolded and we are part of it.

As we transform ourselves, to that extent the kosmos is transformed. We are here because we are the agents of that transformation. There is a sense in which the kosmos needs

us to be its catalyst.

*******

Let us review the relevance of the 12 disciplines to our quest for self-transformation. Our constitution as spiritual beings involves a deep principle of unity known to the Greeks as Nous (pure mind), which integrates our spirit, soul and

body. Our individual nature, whether men or women, requires the reintegration of our spiritual constitution so that self- transformation can occur. The 12 disciplines are the first stage of this process of transformation.

The 12 disciplines correlate with the 12 Single letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the 12 paths on the Tree of Life to which those letters are attributed. They also correlate with the 12 zodiacal letters of the Greek alphabet. This is the key to the Christian kabala of the first few centuries of the Common Era.

Reconciliation, Orientation and Unity


by Jack Courtis

Can we deny the transformation of our selves if we perform the 12 disciplines even at a basic level? We would be radically different people. But remember, we have only dealt with the first level of Being which we call the World of Action, the here and now. What of the next level, the World of Formation? What is required of us to continue with our self transformation? Whereas the level of Action literally requires action on our part, subjective (inner), objective (outer) and as part of a group, the next level is more difficult. The rules change. We plunge headlong into the 7 spiritual processes. Whereas with the 12 disciplines we have a measure of control in that we can choose whether to proceed or not, there is no such choice with the 7 processes. Once we begin there is no turning back. Since we are alive, we have already begun. 7 RECONCILIATIONS The fundamental principle, is the reconciliation of the opposites. We cannot choose one opposite over another. We must experience the relationship between the two and reconcile them into a higher synthesis. This does not mean to be in the middle. For instance, the proper balance between wealth and poverty is not the mathematical average between $1,000,000 and $1, ie $500,000. There are people who are poor at $1,000,000 others who are rich at $1. Reconciling the opposites is not that simple.

Let us begin by identifying the pairs of opposites. They are literally beyond number, but tradition has given us 7 pairs that between them, cover the whole of human of experience. SEED LIFE WEALTH GRACE WISDOM PEACE DESOLATIO N DEATH POVERTY UGLINESS FOLLY WAR

DOMINANC SUBJUGATI E ON What does it mean to reconcile the pairs of opposites? Already we are struggling to find words to explain the concept, let alone the experience. And this is the point, it is an experience that we must have. That is why these pairs are processes that we must go through. If words fail, nevertheless tradition gives a clue to the meaning of these processes of transformation: Ecclesiastes ch 3 v 1-8. SEED To be born To plant DESOLATI ON To die To reap

LIFE

To heal D EATH To build

To kill To destroy To cast away To lose

WEALTH To gather POVERTY To get

GRACE To embrace UGLINESS To shun To safeguard WISDOM To be silent FOLLY To sew PEACE Of peace To love WAR To discard To speak To tear Of war To hate

DOMINAN SUBJUGA To dance To mourn CE TION To laugh To weep

It is still difficult to understand these processes of transformation. It would be a great help if someone who has

gone before us would describe the experience. What would he say of himself if he had reconciled the opposites? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. I AM the bread of life the door of the sheepfold John 6:35 8:12 10:7 10:11 11:25 14:6 15:1

I AM the light of the world " I AM I AM I AM I AM I AM "

the good shepherd " the ressurection and " the life the way the truth and " the life the true vine "

"I AM" is the most powerful statement any person can make. What are the signs of a person who has experienced the processes of transformation? 1. Turning water into John wine 2:8

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Healing official's " son Healing paralytic " Feeding multitude " Walking on water " Healing the blind " Raising Lazarus "

4:50 5:g 6:11 6:19 9:7 11:44

If we can recognise such a person by his signs what epitomises the nature of the experience that he has? What concept better describes the process of reconciliation of the opposites, than suffering? 1. 2. Whipping John Crown of " thorns 19:129

3. Humiliation " 4. Beating "

5. 6. 7.

Carrying cross

"

Crucifixion " Vinegar "

The clue to the process of reconciliation is that the opposites are not antagonistic. They are symbiotic. The best example of this concept is the Yin and the Yang in their ceaseless rhythmic dance as they manifest the Tao. In this relationship, the opposites bring healing and wholeness.

When we have experienced the processes of reconciling the opposites, we too can say "I AM". Only then will we be transformed on the level of Being known as the World of Formation.

What do the 7 Reconciliations mean? What are we required to do? At least with the 12 Disciplines, we have the 12 types of behaviour. They give us a practical guide for action. What about the 7 processes? What action must we take? Try this from the metaphorical process of transformation, we call alchemy: We live our life as we find it and act with CALCINATI morality, justice and truth, to the best of our ON ability. We change the focus of our attention from SUBLIMATI self to non-self, as we react to the suffering ON of others. We begin to sublimate our desires. By constant self-awareness, and the practice of the 12 Disciplines, we bring our SOLUTION sub-conscious into the light. It becomes the consciousness of the Self. We have brought our secret fears and PUTREFACT emotions to the surface. We must purify ION them. Our true motives must be analysed and rectified. Our true identity is sought. By contemplation of the results of the 12 DISTILLATI Disciplines, we distill the essence of our ON being and develop our spiritual character. We are becoming who we truly are. COAGULATI Now our intuition is functioning properly

ON

and we can act with directness and confidence in any situation. We know truth, we act with justice. We do what is right in the middle of conflict.

TINCTURE Kosmic consciousness. We are transformed.

3 ORIENTATIONS If we struggle to describe the transformative experience of the 7 processes, it is almost impossible to describe the 3 Orientations. This is the fundamental principle - orientation. We must find the direction in our lives that leads to God. There are 3 directions: Love, Knowledge and Sacrifice. They all lead to God but allow for individual freedom of choice. We can choose the direction of our lives but once we begin to travel the path, we are swept along. This is the World of Creation and these are the 3 ways in which it acts. As we orient ourselves to God, we come to understand His nature and are transformed thereby. Is this obscure? Perhaps this might help. In kabala the 3

Mother letters are attributed as follows: Alef - air/Holy Spirit; Mem - water; Shin - fire. Alef is the path from Keter to Chakhmah; Mem is the path from Gevurah to Hod; Shin is the path from Hod to Malkhut.

Is the point still difficult to understand? The clue is given in Luke 3:16 and Matthew 3:11, where John the Baptist speaks of 3 baptisms: water, Holy Spirit and fire. Jesus is baptised with water, followed immediately by the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. What does this mean? The 3 baptisms correspond to the 3 Mother letters and 3 paths on the Tree of Life. The baptisms are the experience of those paths. They are the experience of the 3 Orientations. What happens next? Jesus goes to the desert for 40 days (he consciously experiences each sefira of each Tree on each of the 4 Worlds of manifestation). Immediately thereafter, He faces the 3 temptations and by overcoming them, proves the power of the 3 baptisms.

We will be ready to accept the 3 baptisms and through them find the 3 Orientations, only after we have successfully negotiated the 7 pairs of opposites with the assistance of the 12 Disciplines.

UNITY We have now come to the impossible. We cannot speak of the transformation that results from union with that aspect of God that is inadequately known as the ONE. This is the goal of the 12 Disciplines, the 7 Reconciliations and the 3 Orientations. This is the great and unspeakable mystery of the World of Emanation. We become the undifferentiated unity of Being.

Why is there a problem? God can be experienced but not comprehended. This is because comprehension is perception with the mind. To perceive, we have to be separate from the object of our perception. This means division. Physical existence is polarity. God is union, therefore not comprehensible by a polarised, divided mind. Only when polarities are reconciled, is union with God possible. Only then can we truly know. The names do not matter. What counts is the archetypal formula that is the authentic standard by which the process of self-transformation is measured, in the Western esoteric tradition: 1 : 3 : 7 :12 This is the formula that emerges from Genesis Ch 1 and which is confirmed by The Apocalypse Ch 1. Kabala

resonates with alchemy because alchemy is also based on this formula. For example, if alchemy explains the Below then astrology explains the Above, because it also conforms to the formula. But what reconciles the Above and the Below? After all this is the greatest of the pairs of opposites. Only Man stands midway between the Above and the Below. Therefore only Man can effect the great reconciliation between Heaven and Earth, the Chymical Wedding. Effecting this reconciliation is what transforms us. This is our true function in the kosmos. When we have effected the great reconciliation, this is our nature: 1 3 7 12 Unity of our Being Creative forces Psychic centers Astrological body functions

To know our true nature is to be transformed: as Above, so Below. Kabala is the key, the Tree of Life is the map and the number system is the compass

Kabalistic Prayer Part 1


by Jack Courtis How many times have we prayed for something and it has failed to materialize? We are afflicted with doubt and quickly conclude that it does not work. Perhaps God is too distant and uncaring, or does not exist. It is rare for us to pause and consider whether, in fact, we are praying effectively. It depends upon our understanding of prayer. Normally we think of prayer as a shopping list of demands. Often, we believe that we are helpless and that we have to beg. We hardly imagine that we are powerful in our own right and that we are effective in the ordering of our lives. This article examines the kabalistic interpretation of prayer and suggests that it is the deliberate setting into motion of the hidden processes of the kosmos. We should note, however, that successful or effective prayer can hurt, it can bring the "dark night of the soul." Pain in our lives is not necessarily the result of wrong thinking creating a bad reality. Right thinking can also lead to pain that brings release and spiritual awareness. Kabalistic teaching suggests that the hidden processes were put into place when God uttered verbal commands and

created a numerical sequence of consciousness or energy. This produced order in the kosmos by way of the 10sefirot and the Tree of Life. This order is reproduced below by a number, the Hebrew word, the English translation of the word and the modern meaning of each word: No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Hebrew Keter English Crown Modern Mind Force

Chakhmah Wisdom Binah Chesed Gevurah Tiferet Netzach Hod Yesod Malkhut

Understandin Substance g Love Strength Beauty Victory Splendor Kosmic Memory Kosmic Will Kosmic Consciousness Desire Intellect Objective (Outer) Consciousness

Foundation Sub-Conscious Kingdom

If we turn to the Bible and Genesis Ch 1, it has 10 statements of "God said". We can interpret the text to mean that it gives us the principle that God is creative and the method by which He creates. The number 10 is important because it takes us to the 10 sefirot. This is where the Tree of Life comes from. In the diagram, Fig 1, the sefirotare shown as circles. They can be thought of as centres of consciousness or centres of energy. The circles are connected by lines that are regarded as paths.

This brings us to the importance of words and language. The teaching suggests that the Hebrew word properly pronounced creates a direct channel to the principle that it represents. The method of effective prayer described in this article relies upon the concepts that are expressed by words. It should also be mentioned that the modern meaning attributed to the Hebrew words comes from the work of such people as Aleister Crowley, Paul Foster Case and others. Let us refer to the paths between the sefirot. Three points stand out. If we return to Genesis Ch 1, we will see the words "God made" mentioned 3 times, "God saw" mentioned 7 times, with 12 single references to "God." This correlates to the paths in the Tree of Life, as there are 3 horizontal paths, 7 vertical paths and 12 diagonal paths. Genesis Ch 1 gives us the structure, source and origin of the Tree of Life. This relationship between text and kabala uses the Tree of Life to explain a kabalistic notion of effective prayer. The combination of paths, sefirotand their functions, constitute the hidden processes of the kosmos. The Hebrew names and the Tree of Life are shown in Fig. 1. For simplicity and convenience the modern meanings will now be used. This helps us to focus on the intrinsic meaning of the names of the sefirotso that we can use them practically. For effective prayer we only need to understand the intrinsic meaning. We do not need to go into the Hebrew language. It is beyond the scope of this article to explain the workings of the whole Tree. We shall only look at part of it.

The bottom half of the Tree of Life diagram is shown in Fig. 2.

We can view the kabalistic process of effective prayer scientifically, in that we expect a cause and effect relationship. Within this article, science and religion are not in conflict. They are two sides of the same coin. Our starting point is Objective (Outer) Consciousness. This is the seat of our perceptions through the senses. It is the metaphysical place from which we explain our reality to ourselves. It is metaphysical because we are not dealing with materiality, only with the one truth, that consciousness is all we truly perceive directly. All else is the interpretation by our minds of external events. Thus for example, if we hear a noise, sound waves strike our eardrum which by mechanical means transmits those vibrations to the inner ear. Other receptors then translate the vibrations to electro-chemical energy which passes via the nerves to the brain. By a process that is still mysterious to science, these vibrations are "translated" into sound, which in turn appears to be coming from outside ourselves. All of this is an interpretation of reality, as we are not perceiving it directly. We are aware that we are aware and we are conscious that we are conscious. If we look at the second diagram, we stand at the place numbered 1 called "Objective Consciousness." This is where we are here and now. It is also the place where we make the decision to act. Our next step is crucial.

Modern western science has given us the theories of Freud and Jung. Their teachings suggest that we should go directly from Objective Consciousness to Sub-Consciousness. However, they would go to the hard place first. If we return to the diagram, it shows us several alternatives. The easiest is to go to Desire (No. 2). This takes us straight to our power house and the source of our motivation. In other words, the diagram suggests that we do things in a different order from Freud and Jung. From Desire we go to Intellect (No. 3). This is the source of our beliefs. This is where we must examine our faith and our belief system. Next, we return to Objective Consciousness (No. 4) so that we can act with desire and belief. We can go to our Sub-conscious (No. 5), in order to resolve our problem areas. Only then, can we proceed to Kosmic Consciousness (No. 6), which is the true source of the inspiration to direct our lives. Successful connection with the kosmic is the key to effective control of our lives and is the key to successful prayer. Modern psychology does not proceed beyond the sub-conscious. This is precisely the value of the kabalistic method, because it takes us to Kosmic Consciousness. However, we need to understand why the process of prayer (whether kabalistic or otherwise) can break down; and it can break down. Here are some possibilities:

1 - Objective Consciousness Maybe we do not have all the necessary facts and so our initial decision is based on the wrong assumptions. 2 - Desire Perhaps we are not truly motivated and there is no energy to make the prayer effective. 3 - Intellect If we do not believe, how can it work? Faith is based on knowledge gained through the intellect. If there is no knowledge, there is no faith. Then there is no belief. 4 - Objective Consciousness If we do not put our desire and belief into action, failure is guaranteed. 5 - Sub-Consciousness Freud and Jung were right. This is the main problem area. This must be rectified and all the problems resolved. Otherwise we lose ourselves in a labyrinth and we cannot reach the source of our fulfillment.

6 - Kosmic Consciousness This is a place on a completely different level from our objective and subjective nature. According to kabala we must go through a form of the "dark night of the soul" experience to getto Kosmic Consciousness. How many of us truly want to do that? Is it any wonder that prayer does not appear to work? Are we doing it right? And yet the tragedy of our lives is that the system shown on the above diagram is functioning automatically. It does so because we are alive and because we are human beings. We are made in the image and likeness of God and therefore share in his nature and his creativity. The Tree of Life is an image of God and we function in much the same way as the Tree operates. We correspond to an archetypal reality and the Tree of Life is an image of that reality. That is why we get exactly what we ask for. If we do not understand the way in which the Tree of Life functions, it operates automatically and brings to our lives everything that we create in our own individual realities by our own particular thoughts. Knowledge of the kabala leads to the knowledge of the hidden processes of the kosmos and therefore, to paraphrase Christ, it leads to knowledge of "the way, the truth and the life," so that we may have life more abundantly. It is by

exploring our own mind, with the help of the Tree of Life and the kabala, that we set in motion those hidden processes. The 6 steps shown and described above give us one means ofpraying effectively. Prayer works! However, we need to understand how it works in order to use it effectively. Having been created in God's image, we are entitled to live life more abundantly.

Kabalistic Prayer Part 2


by Jack Courtis In part 1 of this series we defined prayer as the deliberate setting into motion of the hidden processes of the kosmos. There are 3 elements in this definition that we must now examine:

1. Deliberate setting into motion; 2. Hidden processes; 3. Kosmos.

The deliberate setting into motion, is the 6 step process that we have already examined. We begin from where we are in objective consciousness (1); generate desire (2); use our intellect to activate our belief system (3); act appropriately here and now (4); deal with the issues in our sub-conscious (5); connect with kosmic consciousness (6).

We are very efficient in the use of the above process. Not understanding it, we create our own particular, narrow reality, from the vast abundance that is rightfully ours. We then spend time and energy, complaining of the very circumstances that we have created.

The point is that we are always setting the process into motion. It is an automatic effect of our spiritual identity. What is required, is for us to focus on the processes of the

kosmos in a deliberate way to achieve abundance. Why are the processes hidden and what is the kosmos? These questions are best answered together.

First, the kosmos is more than the physical universe of scientific materialism. It is all the levels of reality and their interaction. Let us look at the kabalistic view of this statement and its relationship to prayer:

Kosmos 1 Atzilu Emanati Divine t on Spark Creatio Spirit n 1 (10) 3 7 12 "The Father and I are one" Beatitudes Lords Prayer Commandments

2 Briah 3 4

Yetzir Formati Soul ah on Assia Action Body h

The part of the kosmos familiar to us as the physical universe, is that part called Assiah/Action. We function in it by our vehicle of consciousness that we know as our body. It relates to the Tree of Life by the 12 astrological bodily functions and the signs of the zodiac. If we obey the 10 Commandments, we set this part of the kosmic process into motion in a very powerful way. Understood in this way, the 10 Commandments are a prayer.

The rest of the kosmos is hidden because it is not perceived by our 5 senses, or our scientific instruments. Nevertheless, all parts interact because there is a Tree of Life on each level and all of the above prayers are structured according to the form of the Tree. This brings the hermetic axiom: as above so below.

At the level Yetzirah/Formation, we function through our vehicle of consciousness called soul. This is the level of dreams, myths, symbols, meditation, ritual, etc. It relates to the Tree of Life through the 7 planets. They are the agents of

karma. That is the very point of the Lords Prayer. We set into motion the very forces that will liberate us from our karma. If we could understand this point clearly, we would not pray so weakly.

At the level Briah/Creation, we function through our vehicle of consciousness called spirit. This is a level so abstract, that we can only grasp it through numbers, pure mathematics, the suchness of things. Plato has spoken of this level and so has the Lord Buddha. It relates to the Tree of Life through the 3 alchemical principles of mercury, sulfur and salt. The Beatitudes are the closest description we have of this state of being. If we live and act according to the Beatitudes, our whole life becomes a prayer.

Finally at the level Atzilut/Emanation, we no longer function through a vehicle of consciousness - we are consciousness. We are the Divine spark. We are at one with God. Like Christ we too can say, "the Father and I are one". This is the most powerful prayer of all. It sweeps away obstacles, it moves mountains and does even greater things than these. It relates to the Tree of Life as unity. The 10 sefirot are seen as the completeness and fullness of the ONE.

Our true nature and spiritual identity, is the Divine spark. This is who we truly are. To know this is to achieve salvation. This is not intellectual knowledge. This is gnosis. This is a state of being. It is identical with Union and hence cannot be spoken about. The spark directs our vehicles of consciousness by providing the way, the truth and the life, so that we can use the processes of the kosmos. It functions through the Tree of Life on all 4 levels of reality. It is hidden from us simply because we do not know ourselves. That is the ultimate reason why the kosmos and its processes are withheld from our view. Using the above prayers with knowledge and intent, we can set into motion our own liberation.

Let us examine the structure of the first 3 prayers and compare them with the Tree: Tre Sefirot e 1 Keter 10 Commandment Lord's Prayer Beatitudes s Our Father Thou shalt have who art in no other gods heaven Blessed poor in spirit Blessed they that

Chakhma Thou shalt not Hallowed be h make idols thy name

mourn 3 Binah Thou shalt not Thy kingdom Blessed are use the come the meek Name...in vain Blessed Thy will be they who Thou shalt keep done on earth hunger...afte holy the day of as it is in r the Lord heaven righteousnes s Give us this day our daily bread Blessed the merciful

Chesed

Thou shalt honour thy Gevurah father and thy mother

Tiferet

Forgive us our Thou shalt not debts as we Blessed the kill forgive our pure in heart debtors

Lead us not Blessed are Thou shalt not into temptation the Netzach commit adultery but deliver us peacemaker from evil s Hod Blessed are Thou shalt not For thine is the the steal kingdom persecuted

Yesod

Thou shalt not bear false the power witness

Blessed are the reviled

10 Malkhut

Thou shalt not and the glory Rejoice! covet for ever, Amen

Let us review. If prayer is truly the setting into motion of the hidden processes of the kosmos, then properly considered, the 10 Commandments, the Lords Prayer and the Beatitudes, have precisely this consequence. Each is deliberate action on our part, at the 3 lower levels of reality, that operates upon each of our 3 vehicles of consciousness. If we act in this sequence, we are activating the process of liberation. Ultimately, liberation is about self-knowledge. Direct consciousness of who we are, that which drives the vehicles of consciousness - the Divine spark. Then we can utter the final and greatest prayer, "the Father and I are ONE".

In part 3 of this series, we shall look at the 10 Commandments as an expression of the Tree of Life.

Kabalistic Prayer Part 3


by Jack Courtis If the 10 Commandments are assumed to have effect on the level of reality Assiah/Action, then it is easy to see why they are taken so literally. We believe that they are no more than a set of rules for human behaviour, moral, philosophical, ethical and practical. The other levels of reality are hidden from us and we have no idea that there is more involved. Properly understood, they are spiritual exercises designed to set into motion the hidden processes of the kosmos taken as a whole. That is, all levels interacting with each other. It is this interaction which is the key. If they are no more than a code of ethical behaviour, then we are spiritual robots, mechanically obeying rules we have learned parrot fashion. We do not develop or grow. Let us go beyond the literal and see the spiritual meaning. Ultimately, we have to give our own interpretation, but this is a guide for the time being. First, let us see the 10 Commandments on the Tree of Life:

Note that the order of the sefirot and hence of the Commandments, follows the path of the Lightning Flash, uttered into existence by the command, "let there be light". Let us now look at each step of the hidden process as it is set into motion.

1 I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me. I am: refers to our Divine spark. It is the connection with God and our ultimate identity. This is who we truly are. This realisation occurs when we reach the level of reality Atzilut/Emanation. This is the true Self; not our objective consciousness, sub-conscious, ego, psyche, personality, social role, or any other part of our being. Thou shalt have no other gods before me:nothing else can be the focus of attention, striving, effort, feeling or thought. The Divine spark is the unifying principle and the means of integration.

2 Thou shalt not make idols of me nor bow down to worship and serve them. The key word is idol. There is a difference between the Divine spark and the symbols that we create to describe it.

Since we do not yet experience Unity, our divided consciousness needs polarity in order to function. Hence the Tree of Life is experienced as the masculine pillar of force, the feminine pillar of form and the central pillar of consciousness, which reconciles them. The Divine spark is on the central pillar at Keter. Our lower levels of consciousness are also on the same pillar: kosmic consciousness at Tiferet, sub-conscious at Yesod and objective consciousness at Malkhut. These lower levels are some of the idols that we have created and worship. These are inner idols. It is trite to mention external idols such as money, power, sex, etc. The main issue is not to identify with any of the idols in our lives. External idols are easy to identify, although hard to deal with. We do not even suspect our inner idols. Nothing less than identification with the Divine spark will do.

3 Thou shalt not use the Name of the Lord thy God in vain. Normally we understand this to be a comment about irreverence, the use of Gods name lightly, inappropriately. The point is, that the Name is a word of power that invokes Gods presence. It brings His Consciousness, Life and Energy. By using it in vain, we abuse ourselves by misusing the function of our Divine

spark. It is simple enough to list the countless ways in which self-abuse is the norm for our lives: drugs, alcohol, greed, violence and so on. Little do we suspect that ultimately our self-abuse begins and ends with our Divine spark. This commandment is about the proper use of our divine nature. We have a legitimate right to the abundance that the kosmos can provide us. By using the Name in vain, we pervert the kosmic processes.

4 Thou shalt keep holy the day of the Lord thy God. Again, the ordinary meaning is trite. We think it means going to church on Sunday. To keep holy means to achieve right relationship and proper balance. It requires action on our part. We usually miss this point because we are told that there is nothing we can do for our liberation. Superficially, we understand that the day of the Lord is giving time to God. Why? What can we possibly do that is useful to God? Think of it this way, to keep holy the day of the Lord, is about consciously directed spiritual work. It is the deliberate setting into motion of the hidden processes of the kosmos. This commandment brings to our attention time periods; the day, the week, the month, the year, our very lifetime. Right relationship means that we must act at the right time with our Divine spark. We deal with kosmic cycles and hence with timing and rhythm. We grasp the practical meaning of

the 12 body functions, the 7 soul cycles, the 3 spirit states and the unity of our being.

5 Thou shalt honour thy Father and thy Mother. We all understand this, dont we? Why then must it be elevated to the status of a Command of God? This deals with the principle of polarity and gender, of right relationship between spirit and matter, male and female, active and passive. Thou: refers to our little "self" operating from our objective consciousness and sub-consciousness. To honour is to deliberately focus attention upon and enter into a right relationship with:

1.the Father: as both God and our Divine spark, which are
identical in truth, if we could only understand this; and

2.the Mother: the lowest level of reality, personified as


Nature in general and our individual vehicle of consciousness, our body, in particular.

Thus we must become aware that we are both spiritual and physical beings and we must reconcile many polarities: subjective/objective, prayer/work, knowledge/love,

severity/mercy, grace/effort, joy/pain, spirit/matter, good/evil. Polarity is a great mystery and operates on all levels of the Tree of Life and hence of our being. We understand this Commandment only by plunging into the polarities, not by avoiding them.

6 Thou shalt not kill. Again, an obvious statement, hardly needing God to get involved. Again, more difficult and subtle than it seems. Remember, these Commandments are statements of spiritual action as well of physical conduct. It means essentially, not to interfere with the kosmic scheme, but rather to fulfill our role, mission and purpose according to Gods will. We must consciously harmonise with the Divine spark and the Great Work of spiritual evolution. We are not to impose our will upon the kosmos, but to work with it. If we do otherwise, we kill. This Commandment implies harmlessness and proper alignment. The Lord Buddha spoke of this.

7 Thou shalt not commit adultery. Adultery: is the loss of the state of pureness, clearness, concentration and integration, which is rightly ours. It

implies the disintegration of our being into separate parts like, objective consciousness, sub-consciousness, desire, intellect, etc. In this sense, we are all adulterers. It is this state of disintegration that makes it easy for us to "mate" with wrong thinking, feeling and action. Thus we do things because they are "practical" or "expedient", or "everyone does it". On the Tree of Life, this Commandment focuses on desire. To want what is wrong, brings dissociation, confusion and misery. To want what is right, brings synthesis, peace, clarity, certainty and joy. Righteousness is so obviously desirable, it is a wonder that we choose adultery so often.

8 Thou shalt not steal. We steal when we take something physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual, which does not belong to us. This is not just about honesty and respect for others. It is an injunction about not using our will to take what we want to gratify ourselves. Rather, we must take that which God gives to us for our good and growth. It means to grow consciously according to the will of the Divine spark, together with our obligations to society and nature. More subtly, it is about growth that is neither forced nor hindered. It requires self-knowledge that goes far deeper than either philosophy or psychology can take us. It requires

gnosis.

9 Thou shalt not bear false witness. We bear false witness whenever we affirm anything not centred on truth or reality. This is much more than ordinary concepts of honesty. Anything contrary to the will of the Divine spark is false witness in this sense. True, we must not think, feel, say or act in any way that we know is false. But more than that, we can only be true to our Divine spark if we centre our being upon it. That is harder than it sounds and more vital than we can imagine. Again, yet again, self-knowledge is required.

10 Thou shalt not covet the wife or any of the possessions of thy neighbour. Have we not already spoken of adultery and stealing? Why the repetition? It is because this Commandment is closest to the literal interpretation that we normally give. It deals with right human relationships as the beginning of the process that takes us to right relations with the Divine spark. Put simply, this Commandment requires us to be what we are, with what we have, in order to become who we shall be,

according to the will of the Divine spark. If we see something someone else has, we should not desire it without working for it and creating it by our own efforts. More subtly, it is about evolving at the right time and unfolding naturally. The "wife of our neighbour" includes his faculties and feminine principle. The "possessions of our neighbour" include not only what he owns but also what he is. Even this most literal of Commandments requires a degree of self-knowledge that most of us would rather not have. Knowledge implies responsibility. How many of us want that? Let us end this examination of prayer by noting that if we follow the 10 Commandments, we are praying in the sense that we are deliberately setting into motion the hidden processes of the kosmos. But this is only the beginning, because the Commandments are to be performed here and now through our vehicle of consciousness, the body. This is only the first level. The next part of this series will examine the Lords Prayer and the effect it has on the next level of reality, Yetzirah/Formation. That is our soul level.

Kabalistic Prayer
Part 4
by Jack Courtis

We recognise the Lords Prayer as a "normal" prayer, that is, a list of requests. Something like a four year old demanding favours from Daddy. As spiritual four year olds, we expect everything, but give nothing. This article suggests that we should behave like spiritual forty year olds, that is, working with our Father, not just making demands. We need to demonstrate responsibility. This Prayer is a powerful means of setting into motion the hidden forces of the kosmos. It operates upon our soul vehicle of consciousness, at the level of reality Yetzirah/Formation. Using this Prayer with mature judgement, we can access a living source of knowledge that speaks to the soul in a direct and real sense. This is not just a poetic cliche. Used as a spiritual exercise, the Lords Prayer activates the psychic centres. This is more than mere psychology. It takes us through the pairs of opposites that we must reconcile. In turn, this is a breakthrough in consciousness that provides us with constant inspiration and guidance. It creates a flow of energy from higher levels, to our physical body. We are able to find our Divine spark and link our will with its will, so it can manifest on the lowest level of reality and express light, life and love. This is not a symbolic statement. This Prayer is about liberation. What must we do? Contemplate each statement and make it "live" in our imagination- the 7th or Crown psychic centre.

That in turn will overflow downwards into the lower 6 psychic centres. This is not mere symbolism. Let us now examine the Prayer on the Tree of Life and in written form:

1 Our Father who art in heaven The Father is the Divine spark, the real self, the ultimate consciousness, our true identity. Currently, we are hardly aware of this, but we shall eventually gain full knowledge of our beingness. This is liberation. Heaven is a higher and qualitatively different state of consciousness from the one we currently understand. It is the direct knowing of the Divine spark. Our: we all come from the same source and are made of the same substance. Eventually, we shall all be liberated, we shall all achieve union with the Divine spark. Our true self is at-one with God. Since the Lords Prayer affects our soul, it influences our aura by lighting it up. The Prayer activates Keter on the Tree of Life and we too become the light of the world. This is not mere poetic imagery. We become aware of Gods presence in our being and in the world. It connects up the Tree on this level with the levels above and below; Jacobs Ladder.

2 Hallowed be Thy Name To be hallowed is to be aware of, to enter into a proper

relationship with, theName; the presence, consciousness and energy of the Divine spark. The Name is a word of power and therefore a path to the reality that it represents. This step in the process reaffirms and deepens the contact established by the first step. It draws down the divine light from Keter to Chakhmah on the Tree of Life. It stimulates a flow of energy. This will ultimately sanctify us and through us, will heal all wounds.

3 Thy Kingdom come The Kingdomimplies a lawful sovereignty and rightful exercise of power. It requires a king to exercise his rights. In our case the kingdom is all our vehicles of consciousness, their functions, energies and faculties. The king is the Divine spark, but he is not yet in full control. He rules only in an indirect and partial way. The reason is that we have not properly developed the middle pillar of our personal Tree of Life, the pillar of consciousness. We have not allowed a proper connection between the above and the below. The Kingdom is in the hands of the ego, who still rules our being and our lives. Thy:refers to the Divine spark, the true Self. We ask it to come into being in our life. That is, let the Divine spark become the king and the unifying principle in our consciousness.

This step moves to Binah on the Tree. It helps us to understand that the Kingdom of God is a state of consciousness that we must realise within ourselves. When this is achieved, it transforms our personal, professional, social and spiritual life. This is the goal we must achieve on Earth.

4 Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven Thy will: the focused energies of the Divine spark. Be done: accomplished, from potential to actual, from an idea to an experience; all realised in our being. Earth:our field of consciousness, ego, personality and body. Heaven:the higher levels of consciousness where we truly know ourselves, God, our fellow man and our purpose in Gods plan. If Gods Kingdom is to be realised in our being and in the world, then His will must be realised. Gods will, identical with the will of the Divine spark, is always being accomplished in our spiritual nature; but not in our ego and personality. What happens at the level of the Divine spark, must now be extended and realised in our personality. This is Gods mercy, activated in Chesed on the Tree of Life. Once Gods presence becomes conscious in us, His will can become operative in our everyday life. This step in the process helps us to focus on this principle and make it work.

The energy of the divine now infuses our aspirations, thoughts and feelings, spiritualising them and thus transforming our words and actions. "Be done" is a command that transmits divine light through our psychic centres to transform them and allow the flow of energy that accomplishes the purpose of the Divine spark.

5 Give us this day our daily bread Give us:is not quite a command but somewhat more than a request. We are lawfully entitled to something, which is normally out of our reach. We ask that our soul (psychic centres and aura) be suffused with these higher energies so that we may become aware of them. This day:now, wherever we may be, in the present cycle of our evolution. Daily bread: this is the life of the soul and the experience of the divine light. This is more than a poetic statement. Every day, in every cycle, at every moment in our lives, the Divine spark gives us our daily bread, but we are not aware of it. We do not understand what is happening to us, or why we are living through our present situation. Therefore, we cannot appreciate it and assimilate it fully. This step continues the downpouring of light which we perceive as opportunities to grow, to serve others, to live more

creatively, joyously and with awareness. These are not trite cliches. This step activates Gevurah on the Tree of Life.

6 Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us Appropriately, this step activates Tiferet on the Tree of Life; its very heart. This is the central step in the Lords Prayer that deals directly with karma. It is karma that causes us to experience the 7 pairs of opposites. However, as usual, we misunderstand what we are given. We assume that if we demand forgiveness, all our wrongdoing is simply wiped away without effort on our part. We think that we have no personal responsibility for our actions. If we pray hard enough, the problems we have created will all go away without cost to us. Forgive us: the Divine spark always forgives us, but it does so by transforming our errors into lessons and experiences that will enable us to mature, improve and transform our imperfections. Needless to say, most of the time we are unaware of this. We forgive: do we? It is we who do not forgive others and therefore ourselves. We live with the heavy burden of anger, resentment and bitterness. Trespasses: are our violation of physical, psychological, social and spiritual laws. We do this

by our thoughts, feelings and actions. This step takes us directly to cause and effect - karma. It is vital that we see the connection between our thoughts and actions. It has never been better put than this: "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap". What we do unto others, we do to ourselves. However we only forgive others by forgiving ourselves. Only when we do that shall we become aware that the Divine spark has already forgiven us.

True forgiveness implies a great deal more than simply saying, "I forgive you". It implies mental understanding, emotional release, behavioural change and spiritual connection between our vehicles of consciousness. This requires the balancing of our 7 psychic centres by the experience and reconciliation of the 7 pairs of opposites. This will also cleanse that other attribute of our soul, the aura. We must transform our vices into virtues. There is work to be done.

7 Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil Why would our Divine spark lead us into temptation? Does it want us to fail? The absurdity of this proposition alerts us

to its subtlety. Lead us not: means we are asking that it make us aware of, and grateful for, temptations. This is how we make progress. Temptation: the inevitable karmic consequences of our thoughts, feelings and actions. This step in the process activates Netzach on the Tree, the place of our desires and therefore of our temptations. Deliver us:Do we still expect something for nothing? We are asking for the awareness, strength and understanding, to overcome our temptations and learn our karmic lessons. We are not getting something for nothing. Evil: This is all the negative thoughts and feelings that energise our lower self. This is what must be transformed so that, as a vehicle of consciousness, our soul is fit to receive the Divine spark. Remember that it is only our unredeemed lower self that truly leads us into temptation. Moreover, temptations are necessary for our spiritual growth. We need to understand temptations as a test sent for our benefit by the Divine spark. Why does it do this? As we evolve, so does the Divine spark evolve. Our lower self is the mechanism for the evolution of our higher self. That is a trite statement until we remember that our Divine spark is identical with God.

8 For Thine is the Kingdom For Thine: the Kingdom is ultimately of and for the Divine spark. Kingdom: in the sense used here, is our intellectual

faculty, well characterised by Hod on the Tree of Life. We affirm that all our intellectual ability is offered to the service of the Divine spark in the work of our spiritual transformation. The subtlety is that we must be willing to sacrifice our intellect to this purpose. Are we willing to do so?

9 the Power Power: is expressed in Yesod, by the action in this place on the Tree, of spiritual energy activated in Gevurah and expressing the will and justice of the Divine spark. Yesod is the right place for this to happen because this is our sub-conscious. Here karma operates in its most virulent form. Do we doubt this? Consider our secret pain. Where do we feel it, if not here?

10 and the Glory. Amen. Glory: refers here to the love and mercy of the Divine spark (activated in Chesed) and operating here and now, in Malkhut on the Tree. This is the culmination and completion of the Lords Prayer. This step now crystalises the process by the word of power Amen. It also asserts the "Kingdom", which is the English translation of Malkhut.

By the 10 steps of the Lords Prayer, we have followed the "Path of the Flaming Sword", also known as the "Lightning Flash", down the Tree of Life. This is the deliberate setting into motion of the hidden forces of the kosmos. This is the activation and downpouring of the Light, which opens up the "Path of the Serpent" which is our path of return to the Divine spark. A "return" which takes us to a place we have never left. Do we wonder why nothing appears to happen when we pray? Do we understand what we have and what we are doing? In the next article in this series we shall consider the Beatitudes.

Kabalistic Prayer
Part 5
by Jack Courtis If prayer is the deliberate setting into motion of the hidden processes of the kosmos, then the Beatitudes certainly fit that description. They are a blueprint of our conscious spiritual evolution to enable us to enter the path of self-actualisation and self-realisation. They are a statement of who we shall be when we have fully rectified our vehicle of consciousness, spirit, on the level of reality

Briah/Creation. We can use them for a variety of spiritual exercises: concentration, meditation, contemplation and visualisation. Thus we can orient ourselves to God by knowledge, love and sacrifice; thereby always acting in accordance with the will of the Divine spark. Let us now consider the Beatitudes, or Blessings:

1 Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven This statement is the polarity of who we are and what we shall receive. We are poor inspirit and have great need. We desire life, light and love. To bless is to transfer these three attributes from the Divine spark to our present state of consciousness. The Kingdom of heaven is the qualitatively different state of being where the Divine spark is. If we feel the great lack of, and desire the three attributes, we shall be blessed by experiencing the transfer, provided........we have done the work. What work is that? The 10 Commandments and the Lords Prayer - performed as the deliberate setting into motion of the hidden forces of the kosmos. If we have done all that, a "Jacobs Ladder" is established that links our vehicles of consciousness spirit, soul and body. Then we are flooded with Light. Try using this statement as a mantra and at the same time, visualise a brilliant white light at Keter on your Tree of Life.

2 Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted They that mourn: are those seeking what they lack and desire it with great intensity. That is all of us. They shall be

comforted: means that eventually we shall all find that which we seek. Illumination is the only comfort; nothing less will do. But we shall not find it merely by aimless wandering. We must desire with passion, and...........do the work. Whilst using this statement as a mantra, visualise the white brilliance of Keter transfering to ("blessing") Chakhmah on your Tree.

3 Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the Earth Since when have cowards ever been rewarded? The spiritual quest begun with the 10 Commandments, continued with the Lords Prayer and now experienced with the Beatitudes, requires courage of above average kind. The very absurdity points to the true meaning. The meek: are neither the weak, passive, or cowardly, nor those who will not fight for what is right. Rather, the meek are those who are open and receptive to the Light. They will not block or resist the flow of inspiration and intuition. The Earth in this context, is our ordinary state of consciousness when utterly transformed. To be meek is to accept the will of the Divine spark. Use this mantra and visualise the continuation of the flow of the Light to Binah on your Tree.

4 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled To be filled with the Light, we must desire it with passion, with hunger and thirst; not the lukewarm response we normally give. The search will be long and hard but we shall find our hearts desire. Righteousness: is more than what is right by moral standards, because morals are relative. We search for the will of the Divine spark. That is universal, always true and absolute. To flood your consciousness with spiritual energies, use this mantra as you visualise the flow of Light into Chesed on your Tree.

5 Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy In terms of human relationships, if we show mercy (tolerance, understanding, compassion) towards others, they will show the same towards us. This is karma. More subtly, this step is Gevurah on the Tree of Life, the aspect of severity. Yet here is the place where we are asked to demonstrate mercy. These are opposites that we must reconcile. This is no time for pedantic left brain hair splitting. We must show mercy in the very part of our being that is kosmically designed for severity, the opposite of

mercy. Mercy is not an intellectual construct. It comes from our love aspect. Use this mantra as you visualise brilliant Light in Gevurah on your Tree.

6 Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God This is Tiferet, the heart of the Tree of Life. The pure in heart have the aura and Heart psychic centre (in their vehicle of consciousness soul) cleansed, awakened and balanced. This is not a romantic cliche. This can only occur when the work has been done. There is nothing given if nothing is not first offered. This is not about "feel good" laziness. This is to orient ourselves to God by love. To see God is to become aware of the Divine spark, to feel the Light and to see it in ourselves and others. This is very hard when we do not like ourselves. That is why mercy comes before this step. First we must examine and rectify our motives, intentions and aspirations. Then using this mantra, visualise the Light in Tiferet.

7 Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called

the children of God Externally, peacemakers settle conflicts and disputes between people. They bring about social peace and integration. Internally, they bring peace and harmony between their vehicles of consciousness. Only then can they do the work of the Divine spark; be its children. If we strive for peace in a personal, interpersonal and transpersonal sense, we shall be "blessed" with the transfer of life, light and love from the Divine spark. This is Netzach on the Tree, the place of desire. Use the mantra with desire and see the flow of Light into this aspect of your being

8 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven To be persecuted in this sense, we must be willing to suffer, to experience hardship and pain, for what we know to be right. We must make a great effort of will. It is quite simple, if we do not have the courage and strength to strive for what is right, we will not be able to carry out the will of the Divine spark. We must develop these qualities before the Light will flow to us, "bless" us.

This step is very important because here we can speed up our evolution, pay off our karmic debts and grow spiritually, by accepting trials, afflictions and persecutions. If we obey the Divine spark, we shall be misunderstood and persecuted by society. This is Hod on the Tree. See the Light as you use this mantra.

9 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsley for my sake When we make the conscious decision to accelerate our spiritual growth, we leave the broad road that is easy. We take the narrow path that is steep and hard. Here, there are few companions along the way. We shall have trials, tests, hardships and tribulations that will fall upon us from every side. We shall be reviled. We shall compress in a few months or years the experiences or lessons of several lifetimes. We shall be tried and tested beyond the endurance of "normal" people. Our values and basic principles will change in our awareness and in our overt behaviour. We shall live not according to the values of society, but of the Divine spark. Is it any wonder we shall be reviled? Society will fear and attack us because we refuse to conform to its standards. We shall further develop our strength,

determination and will. Once the ordeal is over, we shall manifest higher states of consciousness. This is Yesod on the Tree, our subconscious aspect. Shed Light upon it and use the mantra.

10 Rejoice and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in Heaven. This is the karmic reward. The Light flows into Malkhut as you use the mantra. Do it now. You have direct and intimate relationship with the Divine spark. All else is meaningless words. By now, if you have come this far in these articles, you will have realised that there is an uncompromising commitment involved in prayer. But can there be anything else? After all prayer is the deliberate setting into motion of the hidden processes of the kosmos. In the final article of this series we shall look at the greatest prayer of all.

Kabalistic Prayer
Part 6

by Jack Courtis What is the deepest prayer of our heart? Can it be other than a desire for union with God? All else is meaningless. How could such a prayer be expressed? We have already been given its words: The Father and I are ONE. It does not have 10 parts because it is an expression of unity. In any event, 10 is the fullness and completeness of ONE. What does this prayer mean? The Father is God. I: the Divine spark in its full potential and complete self-conscious awareness. This is the level of reality Atzilut/Emanation. Here, we do not have a vehicle of consciousness because we are consciousness. We are aware of our true identity; at-ONE with God. Nothing else can be said. So is prayer merely a shopping list of demands? Four year olds demand things from their Daddy. However, we are spiritual forty year olds. We must act responsibly as co-workers with our Father. This duty to be responsible emerges from the very power of prayer. It is the deliberate setting into motion of the hidden processes of the kosmos. If it is done irresponsibly, the karmic consequences are inevitable. Of course, the severity of the consequences depends upon the level of reality upon which we act; the higher the level, the more extreme the karmic reaction. It is time for us to see prayer in its full context. What is the relationship between the 12 astrological signs of the bodyand the 10 Commandments; the 7 planets of the soul

and the 10 statements of the Lords Prayer; and the 3 alchemical principles of the spirit and the 10 steps of the Beatitudes? Unity is ONE and no more can be said. In the level of reality here and now, Assiah/Action, the Divine spark acts through the body, but is conscious dimly, as through a glass darkly. The 12 signs are the esoteric cover for the disciplines that we must perform in order to develop this vehicle of consciousness so that it is fit to be used by the Divine spark in full self-awareness. The 12 disciplines rectify the vehicle. The power brought down by the 10 Commandments activates that vehicle. There is an interaction between the above (10 Commandments) and the below (12 disciplines). We must perform both together. There are 3 kinds of disciplines; inner, outer and group oriented: Inner Fasting Study Prayer Outer Service Group Guidance Confession

Simplicity Worship

Meditation Solitude

Submission Celebration

Prayer at this level has the weak meaning that we usually attribute to it, a shopping list. But then, we are weak at this level. That is why we must study and meditate, as well as perform all the other disciplines, in order to understand what true prayer really is and what it can do. The full explanation of the 12 disciplines has already been given. The disciplines are our contribution to the work of spiritual evolution. We can choose to perform them, or we can choose to ignore them. They require deliberate action on our part. Since this is the era of fast food, easy credit and instant entertainment, we choose a theology to match - "no worries". Jesus did it all for us 2,000 years ago and we do not need to do anything for our liberation. Hence, we ignore our responsibility to the Divine spark. How can the Grace of God come to us through the practice of the 10 Commandments, if we do not create the fit vehicle to receive that Grace? The next level of reality is Yetzirah/Formation. Here our vehicle of consciousness is the soul. It consists of the 7 psychic centers and the aura. The esoteric cover for its operation is the 7 planets. The work we must do to rectify this vehicle is the reconciliation of the 7 pairs of opposites. Between them, they cover the whole of human experience. They are: Seed Desolation

Life Wealth Grace Wisdom Peace

Death Poverty Ugliness Folly War

Dominance Subjugation

We cannot choose to perform or ignore the opposites. Once we begin, there is no turning back. Since we are alive, we have already begun. We are already in the midst of them. An explanation of the 7 pairs of opposites has already been given. Successfully combined with the Lords Prayer, they liberate us from our karma. They overcome the 7 planets as agents of our fate. By consciously experiencing the opposites, we rectify our soul and make it a fit vehicle for the work of the Divine spark on this level of reality. The 10 statements of the Lords Prayer bring to us the Grace that energises our soul. This is not just a poetic cliche. The final level of reality that requires a vehicle of consciousness, is Briah/Creation. We function in the spirit.

Here, the esoteric cover is the 3 alchemical principles (mercury, sulfur, salt), also experienced as the 3 astrological qualities (cardinal, mutable, fixed). The work of rectification is to find our orientation to God by knowledge, love and sacrifice. As before, this makes the spirit a fit vehicle for the Divine spark. The 10 steps of the Beatitudes are a powerful combination of mantra and visualization, which generate a flow of Grace into our spirit. Why are the 10 Commandments, the Lords Prayer and the Beatitudes, 10-fold? Because they correspond to the Tree of Life and there is a Tree on each of the levels of reality. Why is the Tree 10-fold? Because it conforms to the commands uttered by God, as recorded in Genesis Ch 1. Why 10 commands? Because ONE-ness is the nature of God, but 10 is the fullness and completion that we see in our present state of consciousness. It is our task to go from 10 to 1, by the rectification of our vehicles and the invocation of Grace. Since the Divine spark is not a vehicle, because it is consciousness, there is no work of rectification. Rather, the point is for each of us to realize our divine nature, here and now. Thus the greatest prayer of all is also the simplest: "the Father and I are ONE". Its very simplicity makes it almost impossible to comprehend. This prayer can only be understood when the previous 3 prayers have been properly performed and the 3 vehicles of consciousness have been rectified. We have work to do.

Let us end as we began. How many times have we prayed for something and it has failed to materialize? Are we praying correctly? Are we deliberately setting into motion the hidden forces of the kosmos?

Kabalistic Prayer
Part 7
by Jack Courtis In part 1, we saw the 6 step method for putting into motion the hidden processes of the kosmos. However that only takes us to Kosmic Consciousness at Tiferet. What about the higher sefirot from Gevurah to Keter? Do they provide a method for "higher" prayer? The pentagram gives us the answer, thus:

Starting at Keter (1), we go to Chesed (2), then Binah (3), Chakhmah (4), Gevurah (5) and back to Keter (6). Again, there are 6 steps to be taken with 5 sefirot, only this time, there is the added factor of Daat. To make sense of this let us review the modern meanings of these sefirot. Hebrew English Modern

Keter Chakhmah Binah Daat Chesed Gevurah

Crown Wisdom Knowledge Knowledge Love Strength

Mind Force Gnosis Gnosis Kosmic Memory Kosmic Will

Mind Using a combination of modern and traditional meanings, let us follow the pentagram. Begin at Keter (1), the I Am which

is the ultimate statement of pure Mind. Just as we begin in "lower" prayer at Malkhut, here and now in Objective Consciousness, we take the same first step at a higher level. The I Am is where we are spiritually. It is our present beginning for the never ending spiritual journey. Go now to Chesed (2) and activate your love aspect. This is the higher equivalent of Netzach/Desire. This is your spiritual power source. You are unbeatable and cannot be stopped. Proceed to Binah (3), the Great Mother. She brings forth out of herself the substance of that which you seek. This needs understanding. The next step is Chakhmah (4), the Great Father, the masculine force that leads forth with wisdom, that which has been brought forth. A mystery is developing here. The answer is the will aspect of Gevurah (5). Remember the famous saying: Do what thou wilt, is the whole of the Law.This is the higher aspect of Hod/Intellect. Although Love/Desire is the source of our power, Will/Intellect is the means of focussing that power, at both the higher and lower levels of prayer. But what is the Law? Let us wait until the last step that takes us back to Keter (6). The I Am of Mind, has now developed to a higher stage. We are no longer merely, I Am; we are now "I AM the Law". What does this mean? We have gone around the pentagram and skirted the main issue. Daat/Knowledge is best expressed as Gnosis that

is, knowledge of a higher kind than mere intellect. Knowledge of what? Knowledge of the Law. The Lord Buddha calls it Dharma. Even he is ruled by it. In gnostic terms, we can call it Nomos (the Law). This is the implicate order of the kosmos. To transcend Keter and the Tree of Life, we must be able to know and only then can we truly say, "I AM the Law." Is this prayer powerful?

Force We can begin the pentagram at any point and follow the development to its logical conclusion. Let us do this now by starting at Chakhmah (1). The Great Father is the deep masculine principle of leadership. It leads forth what the Great Mother creates and brings forth. To lead is different from creating. The distinction is subtle but fundamental to a proper understanding of the roles of Force and Substance. But what is the spiritual issue about leadership? Move now to the will aspect of Gevurah (2). Do what thou wilt, is the whole of the Law. Leadership is about using the will to overcome karma. Doing it with wisdom, will prevent the creation of new karma. The Law (Dharma/Nomos), understood at this level, is about liberating us from the suffering that karma brings.

Starting the pentagram from Keter, brings us to the first level of understanding; knowledge of the Law. Beginning from Chakhmah, we are learning how to use the Force of the Law. Proceed now to Keter (3) where in the pure Mind aspect of our being we can say "I AM the Law". This is higher gnosis even than Daat. With the certainty that this gives us, go to Chesed (4) and the power that Love generates. Here also, another mystery reveals itself. Kosmic Memory is the source of our self awareness. This is where we develop our identity within the kosmos. Note that when we can truly say, "I AM the Law", we have transcended the kosmos and are outside of it. In a deep sense Love is the source of our own identity within the kosmos. To make it clear, if you have amnesia, you are aware, but have no identity. With love and self-conscious knowledge, we can now go to the Great Mother, Binah (5) and bring forth what this working of the pentagram has for us. Can you see that by starting with the leadership of the Great Father, we are overcoming karma? Where is the location of karma on the Tree of Life? Daat. This sefira exists in the void, the Abyss, and is the visible expression of the hidden processes of the kosmos that we call karma. Has leadership a higher duty than to overcome karma? Let us therefore return to Chakhmah (6) and consider that if we understand with wisdom and are wise with understanding, we shall know the Law. Here lies freedom, redemption and liberation. Is that

worth the effort of praying in this "higher" manner, by deliberately setting into motion the hidden processes of the kosmos? Do it with the Force that is rightly yours.

Love Let us go around the pentagram again, this time starting with Chesed (1). We become aware of a new issue. If do what thou wilt is the whole of the Law, then will under love, is the fullness of the Law. By putting love above will, we see a development. Here is gnosis in action. By starting the pentagram from a different sefira, we realise that we can achieve different results. The Law is not static and rigid. It is infinitely flexible and has unfathomable depth. Daat gives to us whatever we desire. This changes our understanding of the Tree of Life. The true focus is not Keter or Tiferet or any of the other sefirot on this side of the void. The unacknowledged source of gnosis that emerges as Daat, is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. That Tree is on the other side of the void. The connection between the 2 Trees is Daat; in a deeper sense, the Law. Love is the connecting link. Hence, the fullness of the Law is a subtly different concept that can only emerge from Chesed. Proceed now to Binah (2). With love, the Great Mother brings forth........what? That which we desire. This is how

karma is created, by desire. If can eliminate desire, we can eliminate karma. But we love desire with a passion. Never mind that the Buddha tells us that desire is the source of suffering. The feminine principle acts with desire to enmesh us in karma. That is why we need the Great Father at Chakhmah (3), to lead with wisdom to Gevurah (4) so as to overcome karma. But note that the masculine cannot create because it does not generate love or desire. Here is a paradox and a mystery. The masculine must overcome that which the feminine creates, but without the feminine, nothing can ever be. The next step is Keter (5), the I Am of pure Mind. This is the silent watcher of the struggle between the masculine and the feminine. Here, detachment must be cultivated for liberation to occur. Only then can we return to Chesed (6) to find love over will, because we now can create with love but without desire and hence without karma. Is this getting hard? Did you ever think that liberation would be easy? Do you really expect to overcome the karma you have created without effort? You have a choice. You can remain with illusion and suffering, or you can find liberation.

Will

If you still have the energy and the courage, try the pentagram again. Start from Gevurah (1) with focussed will. Move to Keter (2) and realise that you are the Law. Simply be who you are and you will act at the right time by your integrated self. Easier said than done. Next is Chesed (3). Put your will under Love, so as to act without generating karma. With the power of Love go to the Great Mother, Binah (4) and bring forth out of yourself that which you desire. Proceed to the Great Father, Chakhmah (5) for wise leadership and finally end with your accomplished will at Gevurah (6). What issue emerges from this round? Dharma/Nomos is the field of action. If you know the Law, you can act with love, wisdom and understanding. Act like this and there is no karma, only blessing. It takes the Strength of Gevurah to do this. Act within the Law and liberation is yours. Ignore the Law and life continues as you presently find it.

Substance Let us do this one last time. Begin the pentagram at Binah (1). Bring forth out of your own Substance (for truly you are the Great Mother if only you knew), that which you need to deal with your life issues. Understand that you are the cause of all that you experience in life. The Law is the field of action, but you are the actor. You bring forth constantly by every act, thought and deed. You need the wisdom of clear

leadership. Go then to the Great Father at Chakhmah (2). He leads forth what you have brought forth. Now focus your will at Gevurah (3) because do what thou wilt is the whole of the Law. From here proceed to the impersonal (and karma free) aspect of pure Mind at Keter (4). Here you are the Law, so you can direct Love at Chesed (5) without passion or desire, without karma. Finally, complete the circuit and return to Binah (6). What you have brought forth is perfect. What is the issue here? If you act according to Law and bring forth in the above manner, you will do it right. Do what? That which you pray for.

Knowledge But what is the Law? Daat is the Knowledge of the Law, but this does not explain the issue. It is a deep mystery, but it is trite to say that. We can only presume that the gnostic Nomos, has the elements of Mind, Force, Substance, Love and Will. We cannot know the Law until we have lived these elements, until we are wise with understanding and understand with wisdom. A mystery wrapped inside a paradox. If we know the Law we shall be liberated by it.

Quest for the Holy Grail

Preface
The Quest for the Holy Grail is about self transformation and personal liberation. It demonstrates a remarkable similarity with kabalistic and hermetic traditions. There is a unifying principle that is at the heart of all of these ways of thought, which can only be grasped by symbols, analogies and myths. This series gives plenty of mythology in the discourses and points to the underlying principle of unity. However the student will get most benefit from reading the discourses and then following the story presented in the guided visualizations (a supporting article). This series is not left brain intellectual. It is about right brain insight and intuition. Some of the imagery is disturbing and rightly so. We are not playing games or entertaining children. The process of liberation is a serious business and it can bring pain and anguish to the seeker on the path. However, help and compassion are always at hand.

Quest for the Holy Grail 2

DISCOURSE 1
by Jack Courtis The Quest for the Holy Grail is a system of self transformation that can be reconciled with other similar systems in the Western esoteric tradition. It is a cosmological scheme that is comparable with Tarot, Kabala and Astrology. There are also hints of a connection with Alchemy. All of these systems or schemes follow a unifying principle that points to one underlying reality. The Holy Grail in its 5 Transformations, is one approach to that reality. To achieve the Grail, is to understand reality. To understand reality, is to be transformed and to be saved.

The whole point of the Grail tradition is that each of us can take the initial step towards salvation by our own efforts. This is independent from the Church teaching on Divine Grace. However, our own efforts towards salvation, only take us as far as Tiferet on the Tree of Life, in this scheme

known as the Grail Castle. It is important to mention at the outset, that the effect of attaining the Grail is identical to the intended effect of Holy Communion. The paradox is to explain why the Grail Knight finds it necessary to go on a quest for something that he or she can presumably obtain in any church at any time. The answer to this paradox, is that the Grail Knight is looking for a level of mystical experience that cannot be found in the Church.

The West first heard of the Grail between the 1lth and l3th centuries, in the form of a series of writings of different styles and interpretations. There are 16 major literary works of this period. The most important are, "Le Conte del Graal" by Chretien de Troyes and "Parzival" by Wolfram von Eschenbach. It is not the purpose of these discourses to repeat any of the Grail literature. The Seeker on the Quest must find and read the material. These discourses will point to one direction in the inner landscape. An explanation will be given of this landscape which will give it a particular meaning. After all, the legend is a myth, but the Quest is a process of attainment

We all share the landscape of the Grail. It is important to understand that the knights and ladies we meet, the castles

and forests we discover and the ritual objects we use, are all symbols of our own inner spiritual state. As the foolish knight Parsifal, we begin the Quest by discovering the Waste Land. We must redeem the Land, but we can only do that by redeeming the wounded king. We can only do that by redeeming ourselves. Let us begin the Quest with a short paraphrase of Chretien's description of Parsifal's experience in the Grail Castle.

Parsifal has begun his training as a knight, but he has a lot to learn. More through good luck (or divine providence) than good judgement, he stumbles across the Fisher King who leads him to the Grail Castle. Parsifal does not know where he is but he meets a king who suffers from a dreadful wound. The king is in terrible agony. He cannot be cured and he cannot die. However, once a day the Grail procession comes and gives temporary relief. This is what Parsifal sees.

The wounded king lies on a couch in a hall surrounded by 400 men. The wounded king gives Parsifal a Swordwhich he accepts unthinkingly. A procession now passes through the hall. It is led by a squire who carries a Spear that drips blood. Two squires follow each of whom carries a 10

branched candlestick. Next comes a damsel carrying a Cup that blazes with light. Finally there comes a damsel carrying a Dish. In his foolishness, Parsifal fails to ask the Question. He is cast out of the Grail Castle and in despair, he begins his own redemption.

It is not until Parsifal fails to ask the Question, that he is able to experience the possibility of suffering with its evil and redemptive consequences. As the foolish knight, he is both innocent and blameworthy. In the end, Parsifal succeeds precisely because of his innocence and ignorance. He experiences all of the Christian initiations by imitating Christ.

It is worth noting that Wolfram differs from Chretien on a number of points, the most important being that Wolfram sees the Grail as a Stone (Philosopher's Stone of Alchemy; Cube of Space of Kabala?) or an emerald (The Emerald Tablet of Hermes?). This is important because in one of the late writings on the Quest, the "Perlesvaus", it is said that the Grail undergoes 5 miraculous changes. This tells us that the Grail does not have a fixed form. It is in continual flux. Here is one view of what this means:

If the Stone of Wolfram is assumed to be a cube, then it immediately correlates with the Cube of Space of Kabala and accommodates the 22 letters and the 22 paths of the Tree of Life. If the Stone takes essentially the place of Chretien's two 10 branched candlesticks, it is the 10 Sefirot of the Tree of Life in its male/female aspects. Either way, we are being led to the same unifying principle that is implied in the Quest. We are subtly led to unstated implications, never explanations. The 22 major Arcana of

the Tarot emerge for our consideration. Alchemically, this is the Quintessence which activates the 4 elements of Fire, Air, Water, Earth. This leads us to the ritual objects: Spear,Sword,Cup, Dish.

ALCH GRAIL EMY Spear Sword Cup Dish Fire Air Water Earth

TARO T Staff Sword Cup

CHRIS KABA TIANI LA TY Lion Angel Eagle Emanati on Creation Formati on Action

Pentagra Bull m

Each ritual object symbolises one of our activating principles. In the Quest they are used in the Grail ritual. This points us in the same direction. The 5 Transformations of the Grail suggest our own transformation.

The Stone/Candlesticks, are the Ain Sof Aur. The other 4 ritual objects point to the 4 Worlds of Emanation, Creation, Formation and Action. These are the principles that activate our beingness, our psychic centres. How do they work? As part of ritual, each object acts as the focus of attention and the trigger for effective imagination. In its turn, imagination is the living of the myth. Reality is explained by myth. To grasp reality is to experience transformation. Here is one example of the myth of the inner landscape:

Let us now explore the land of the Grail and meet the characters.

SARRAS

This is the holy city of the Grail. It lies "across the sea" which only the chosen may cross. It is the New Jerusalem kept from us by the abyss. We can pass over after the "dark night" experience. When we enter this city, we are in good company. Only Galahad, Bors and Parsifal have been chosen and stand before the place of the supreme mystery.

Galahad, Bors and Parsifal go to Sarras on a ship made from timber that was taken from the Tree of Life. This is the same tree from which the timber was taken and the cross was constructed for Christs crucifixion. The ship is for the

Grail Knights, their path to God.

We have a choice - to serve the Grail or to go higher to even greater mysteries. Perhaps we may return to the outer world bringing the light of the Grail with us. We enter Sarras knowing little; we return to the world with what we have learned. We are obliged to show the way to all Seekers.

Sarras is not the only place of the Grail. It is also found in the Waste Land as well as the Grail Castle. The Grail is the principle of wholeness and is therefore the entire inner landscape as well as the individual locations. But why begin with Sarras? Why start with the end of the Quest? This is how the Tree of Life is constructed.

GRAlL CASTLE

Outside the castle, is the Fisher King. He watches silently as

we approach the razor sharp bridge that takes us to the hall of the wounded king. But first, we must pass the gate-keeper who knows our true nature and our real objectives. These three, are different aspects of the same figure. This is a mystery.

Inside the castle, we witness the Grail procession. We must truly see in order to understand with wisdom and to be wise with understanding. Only then can we know. With knowledge we can ask the Question. Then the wounded king is healed and the Waste Land is redeemed.

The Grail Castle is not generally understood to be a church. However it is clearly the focus for sacramental devotion. Its occupants have a great treasure which is a life giving secret. The women are the bearers of the Grail mystery and the men are the guardians of that mystery. This treasure is secret because it gives life and death, joy and suffering, because as a vessel it is both empty anal capable of being filled by anything.

The Grail Quest must be seen in the context of the western Church that emphasises the expiation of sins through the sacrificial death of Christ. This is to be contrasted with the eastern Orthodox Church that emphasises the restoration of man to divine life. The quest for the Holy Grail can be seen as a corrective to the western over-emphasis on sin by introducing the eastern concept of "theosis" (God-becoming). This union with God is precisely the point of the Quest.

Let us visualise the Grail Temple. It is the inner aspect of the Grail Castle. The Temple stands at the top of a mountain surrounded by impenetrable forest. Access is by way of a razor sharp ridge. The Temple is capped by a great dome. It has 22 chapels in an octagonal form. Over every pair of chapels stands an octagonal bell tower. At the summit of each tower is a ruby surmounted by a cross of white crystal, to which a golden eagle is affixed. Two doors lead into each of the chapels. Each chapel contains an altar of sapphire and faces east. The main chapel itself stands in the east and is twice as large as the others. It is dedicated to the Holy Spirit who is the patron of the Temple. The chapels to either side of it are dedicated to the Holy Virgin and St. John.

This is the place where all myths are true and all truth is rightly grasped.

WASTE LAND

This was once ruled by the Fisher King. This is where the Quest begins. The land is made waste by the unthinking act of one of the knights who strikes the Dolorous Blow that maims the wounded king in the groin. His sterility is reflected by the state of the land.

Of course, the Waste Land is our own inner state. It is that sterile place where imagination and love have ceased to flow. It is the scar on our soul caused by some wrongful action, either self inflicted or caused by another. It is also the world in which we live, loveless and forlorn. We all know this place because we all have hurts and sorrows.

And yet, the Grail exists here. To see the Grail in the Waste Land, is true wisdom.

This is the work to be done, to go behind appearances and see reality. We must bring reality out into the open to be shared by all. Thus when the Seeker asks the Question, the wounded king is healed and the land is restored.

"Quest" and "Question" are in truth, identical.

In the myth being developed in these discourses, there are 3 places and 7 characters who relate to the Sefirot on the Tree of Life. We have looked at the places. Next, we will look at the characters.

Quest for the Holy Grail 2

DISCOURSE 2
by Jack Courtis The Quest takes place in its own landscape, a world that we all share. Moreover, it is a world that is consistent with all other inner worlds. Thus Kabala provides a convenient framework for comparison and a good point of reference for the Seeker who is lost in the Waste Land. In these discourses, the myth of the Grail is taking shape along kabalistic lines. Thus there are 10 primary ideas; 3 places and 7 characters. The significance of these numbers is the subject of the Quest. For the present, let us ride out into the Waste Land. PARSIFAL Parsifal is the foolish knight because he begins the Quest in total innocence and complete naivety. He does not even know his own identity or heritage. He is the Fool of the Tarot and he is each of us. We are all on the Quest whether we know it or not. None of us really knows who we are or why our lives are a waste land of broken dreams, hurts and disappointments. Many of us stumble into the Grail Castle but in our ignorance fail the tests and are expelled.

Make no mistake, the Quest is not a pretty fairy tale for children. It is a serious undertaking. The process is full of trials and tribulations. We are tested severely and ruthlessly but with mercy. We are allowed to try again.

That is what happens to Parsifal. Through the ignorance of innocence, he fails to ask the Question and is expelled. Yet ultimately he triumphs. He attains the Grail, and for his reward, he becomes the Guardian of the Grail. He does this by treading every weary path and performing every task demanded of him. The Tree of Life gives us a good map to the inner world so we can follow him. He remains the Guardian for 7 years and then a hermit takes him to the forest. Parsifal brings the Cup, the Spear and the Dish with him. He lives as a hermit for 10 years.

Another version of his name is Percival which can be interpreted as "Pierce-the veil". He is also a Son of a Widow. This is a mystery and is part of the initiatory process. The original Widow in the western esoteric tradition was Isis. At present she is referred to simply as the Goddess. She rules the physical universe and its subtle realms. She appears before the initiate partially covered by a black veil that is the fabric of space and time. The weave of

the veil unifies all existence into ONENESS. This weave is currently being examined by materialist science in its own quest for a unified theory of quantum mechanics on the one hand and the space/time of Einstein, on the other. As Parsifal, we seek God but only see the veil. When we look at the material universe we can only see trees, oceans, buildings etc. But the initiate who has already transcended the normal world by properly commencing the Quest, will see the material universe as a partially veiled woman. The initiate sees partially but not completely, the totality of beauty and truth. When the initiate attains reality, the veil is lifted.

The initiate is now an adept. He sees truth directly and understands nature in her true form. He can approach God without the separation imposed by the space/time continuum and its quantum mechanics weave.

Parsifal is piercing the veil as opposed to lifting it. In piercing the veil he seeks God rather than the Goddess. This is an important distinction because as we see the world, God is considered to be unknowable and it is therefore arrogant to try to perceive beyond God's creation. However Parsifal is the Fool and does not know this. Accordingly, he is not

limited by the belief that he cannot seek God. That is why the Fool becomes a Grail winner. To be the Fool, is not to be foolish!

Parsifal is a living bridge between our everyday level of reality and the higher levels of reality that we must experience, if we are to achieve the Quest. Parsifal accomplishes this bridging in the end and becomes the Grail King until such time as we arrive at the Grail castle in order to ask the Question and replace him.

GALAHAD

Galahad is the supreme Grail winner. He is destined to succeed from birth. His father is Launcelot and his mother is the Grail Princess. At the beginning of his Quest, like Arthur, he draws a sword from a red stone. In this case, it is found floating in the river outside Camelot.

Galahad achieves the mysteries, heals the wounded king and restores the Waste Land. Finally he goes to the holy city of Sarras where he sees the Grail and dies. Why? The Grail brings the opposites, life/death, good/evil, etc. Galahad has reconciled them and thus passes out of material existence.

Using the Tree of Life as a map of the inner world, we realise instantly that the opposites are built into its structure. Consequently, they are a fundamental part of the Quest and cannot be avoided. They must be reconciled. This is how the Quest is performed. How then can Galahad achieve the Grail? This is the mystery of God Transcendent and God Immanent. Kabalistically, this about the 3 Veils of Negative Existence and the 4 Worlds. Part of the mystery is answered by understanding that we have misunderstood the true nature of duality and pursue the Quest on the basis that duality means that the opposites are in opposition to each other. In fact the opposites are in a symbiotic relationship. That is a subtle and difficult distinction. It is part of what we must all learn on the Quest. If the opposites are in opposition, they cause destruction. If they are in symbiotic relationship (yin and yang) then they create wholeness, understanding and healing.

Nevertheless, we must imitate Galahad. Like him, we must take the Grail in our hands, to the holy city of Sarras and there, we shall receive from the hands of the Grail's true master, the bread of life. To do that we must share Galahad's special qualities. First we must understand the difference between mysticism and religion. Mysticism goes to the heart of life whereas religion talks of the appearance of life. Secondly, we must show a single-minded determination for the task. No attack shall dismay us and no temptation shall divert us. Thirdly, we must accomplish the mysteries of the Quest in the same way as Christ accomplished his ministry. Fourthly, we must experience the pain of the wounded king and heal him and the Waste Land. Finally, we must achieve theosis: God-becoming.

BORS

Bors does not have the hard destiny of Parsifal or the glorious destiny of Galahad. He is an ordinary man. He always seems rather puzzled by the events of his Quest. He is constantly called upon to make choices and is usually right in his decisions. Bors never aspires to great deeds and yet achieves the Grail. His attributes are wisdom, loyalty, discipline and the ability to reason even in a crisis. He is the

least romantic of the three. He is actually married with a child, at the time of the Quest. It is because of this, that he understands the nature and mystery of human love, desire and procreation, in a way that neither Parsifal nor Galahad can ever understand. He is then, in the world whereas they are only of it. This gives Bors a special insight into the mystery as a whole that makes him the one who returns to Camelot after the Quest is over, to relate all that has happened to Arthur.

Bors is the ordinary man whose aims are not as high as his companions. Nevertheless, he is raised by the Grail to a position from which he may witness and experience the greater mysteries. He does not quite appear to be a hero and yet he succeeds. The very ordinariness of Bors and the greatness of his achievement, are important. He sees the Grail and lives.

Why?

Bors does not know why he has been chosen or even what

he has been chosen for. Nevertheless he accepts willingly and treads the path. This is far harder for him because he is less spiritually oriented than the other knights. His temptations are always more rigorous. However he knows what is right with inner certainty and does his best to achieve it. He proceeds steadily and cautiously, with single-minded devotion to the Quest. He trusts the inner directives of the Quest and pays the cost often, without knowing for a long time after if he really did choose wisely.

'There are only 3 Grail winners: Parsifal, Galahad and Bors. All others on the Quest, failed. It is significant that there are 3. On the Tree of Life, they surround the Waste Land as shown in the following diagram:

These three knights are aspects of Christ. Bors is "he that has come to bear witness to the truth"; Parsifal is " he upon whom the mystery shall be founded"; Galahad undergoes the transformation of the Grail that is nearest any human being can come to sharing in the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

The 3 Grail winners are really aspects of the same person. The Waste Land surrounds the Grail Castle and in a deep sense they are the one place in the same location. The inner landscape constantly changes shape yet ever remains the same. It is pure and pristine but appears waste. We need guides to show us the way.

NASCIENS

Nasciens is the Grail Hermit. He is a guide and way-shower. When we least expect him, but most need him, he appears to

advise and point the path to the next trial and test. He takes many forms both male and female. Nasciens is our personal spiritual director and we can call upon him at any time. He always speaks truth and this is probably why we do not call him often enough.

The Hermit is closely related to the Fisher King and the wounded king. He is an aspect of both. He commands us to follow the way he shows and interprets our confusions on the path. He is well depicted on the Tarot card that bears his name.

KUNDRY

Kundry is the most mysterious character on the Quest. At the outset it is important to know - she serves the Grail.

She is ugly and misshapen. She is portrayed as a

black-skinned hag who appears after Parsifal has failed to ask the Question. She ridicules him unmercifully and yet gives him good advice as to what to do next. At the end she accompanies Parsifal to the Grail Castle when he finally achieves his Quest.

She is very difficult to work with but gives wisdom, knowledge and assistance to the Seeker. She has a terrible outer form but in fact hides great beauty and divine love. She is as much a guide as Nasciens and is really his feminine aspect.

On the Tree of Life, Nasciens and Kundry overlook the Grail Castle and in a sense, they protect it. That is why they can guide us there.

We still need to know how to get to the holy city of Sarras.

DINDRAINE

Dindraine is the Grail Maiden and carries the sacred Cup in the procession. She travels with Parsifal, Galahad and Bors in Solomon's Ship. Later, she gives up her life as a blood sacrifice and her uncorrupted body is carried to Sarras in that Ship. She emphasises the mystical importance of blood and service. Although she dies, she points to the Resurrection. She is an aspect of the Widow because in a mysterious way, she is involved with the Resurrection.

Dindraine is Kundry in a higher form and performs a similar function. She is the way-shower of the greater mysteries. The Grail Castle is not the end of the Quest. We must press on to the holy city.

JOSEPH of ARIMATHEA

Joseph takes the Cup used at the Last Supper and attends the Crucifixion where he catches a few drops of Christ's blood in it. Later, with 12 disciples, he comes to Glastonbury and brings the Cup with him. The Grail is not only a Cup. It transforms and therefore can never be defined by any particular shape. The spear that pierces Christ and sheds the blood and water, is the Spear in the Grail procession. It is also another form of the Grail. Joseph is the keeper of the Spear as well as the Cup.

He is the guardian of all the mysteries and a higher aspect of Nasciens. He is also the masculine counterpart of Dindraine.

Thus we have 3 Grail winners and 4 Grail guardians. However, the guardians are really 2 characters, one male (Joseph/Nasciens) and one female (Dindraine/Kundry). Later then, in some mysterious way, the male and female are the complimentary aspects of a single mysterious being who has reconciled the opposites. Who can this be? Only someone who can say: "I am the way, the truth and the life".

We have seen the broad outline of the Quest. Now we must study the paths and look for adventure.

Quest for the Holy Grail 3

DISCOURSE 3
by Jack Courtis The inner landscape of the Quest is full of forests, dark paths, hard places, bridges, gates and castles. It is a very confusing place for us because we start like Parsifal, foolish and ignorant. We do not recognise Nasciens and are frightened of Kundry. What to do? A road map would be handy. That is why the Tree of Life is so useful.

The Tree has given us the broad outline of 3 places and 7 characters. Now we will use it to find the paths we must

travel. First, the overall scheme. PATH TAROT 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Fool Magus High Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Wheel of Fortune Strength GRAIL Parsifal Merlin Morgan le Fey Igraine Uther Pendragon Blais Lancelot & Guinevere Taliesin Arthur Joseph of Arimathea Round Table Bors IMAGE Mirror Serpent Egg Cauldron Tower Rod Triple Crown Winged Heart Maze Siege Perilous Flowering Staff Wheel Sword

23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

Hanged Man Death

Fisher King Green Knight

Fish Waste Land Sword in Stone Skull Thorn tree Blood Spindle Pentagram Tree Star

Temperance Galahad Devil Tower Star Moon Sun Judgement Universe Klingsor Kundry Dindrane Nimue Gawain Avalon Grail

Even though the Tree is our road map, it is not as easy as to start with one path and then follow what ever we see. That is how we get lost. It helps to know what the paths mean. We shall begin with the 3 paths on the Tree of Life that are attributed to the 3 Mother letters. The operation of these paths is hard to visualise, but it is the life of the Grail that flows in both directions simultaneously. It is the source of creativity.

PAT TAROT GRAIL IMAG H E

11

Fool

Parsifal Mirror

23

Hanged Man

Fisher King

Fish

31 Judgemen Avalon Tree t

These paths have an internal relationship that connects them. Parsifal is the element of Air and the alchemical principle of Mercury. The Fisher King is the element of Water and the alchemical principle of Salt. Avalon is the element of Fire and the alchemical principle of Sulfur. The simultaneous double flow of energy is an inadequate symbol for the sheer power of these paths. They are the archetypal experiences of the Quest.

Parsifal knows too little; the Fisher King knows too much. Avalon is the place of their reconciliation. When we look into a mirror, we see ourselves - foolish. However, we are the fish caught by the Fisher King. Remember that Christ promised His disciples that He would make them "fishers of men". Avalon is the New Jerusalem where the Tree of Life will be found. That is also the place where we will discover that Parsifal is really the Fisher King. We will find our true inner self at the place of our heart's desire; but only after we are judged and have the experience of the Hanged Man.

We turn now to the 7 paths on the Tree of Life attributed to the 7 Double letters. Their characteristic is that they alternate the direction of the flow of life - positive/negative. PATHTAROT 12 13 14 21 27 30 Magus High Priestess Empress Wheel of Fortune Tower Sun GRAIL Merlin Igraine Round Table Kundry Gawain IMAGE Serpent Egg Tower Wheel Thorn Tree Pentagram

Morgan le Fey Cauldron

32

Universe

Grail

Star

The unifying principle of these paths is their male/female nature. Sometimes it is not obvious. For or instance, Merlin is really the Fool in his ultimate form of development. The Fool is androgynous and therefore so is Merlin. After all, only one who has reconciled the opposites can be a true Magus. Merlin stands behind Arthur; in fact, arranges for his birth. He also arranges for the sword in the stone that Galahad is to draw from the red stone. Merlin constructs the Round Table by magic and gives it the ability to show the names of the knights who are to sit there, including the Siege Perilous. This is the Judas seat and can only be redeemed by the Grail winner, Galahad.

Merlin has withdrawn to his glass tower after his enchantment by Nimue and there guards the 13 Treasures of Britain. Note that there are 12 knights plus Arthur at the Round Table; and Christ had 12 Apostles. This is a mystery and shows Merlin to be an initiator. The Serpent Egg is the symbol. On the Tree of Life, he is on the path of the androgynous Mercury. Merlin is the bringer of Dominance/Subjugation.

Morgan le Fay is the half sister of Arthur. She is the priestess of the Goddess and refuses to yield to the new religion of Christianity. She is the mistress of the inner Avalon. She has an incestuous relationship with Arthur and gives birth to Mordred, the evil one. Yet, she is not evil. Hers is the Path of Blame and that relates her to Mary Magdalene. She truly worships the Goddess and performs the powerful magic of the feminine. Again, this requires the reconciliation of the opposites, irrespective of the outer appearance. The Cauldron is the symbol of the Goddess. On the Tree of Life, Morgan is on the path of the Moon. She brings Wisdom/Folly.

Igraine is the wife of Uther Pendragon. Her relationship with Uther is arranged by Merlin to ensure the birth of Arthur. She is taken from her tower-like castle to marry Uther. On the Tree of Life she is on the path of Venus. She brings Life/Death by giving birth to her son. She is an aspect of the Great Mother.

The Round Table was created magically by Merlin and

given to Arthur. It was modeled on a table made by Joseph of Arimathea, which in turn was based on the table used at the Last Supper. Hence it is designed for 12 knights and Arthur (12 + 1, Christ and His 12 disciples, the Sun and 12 signs of the Zodiac). One seat is left empty, the Siege Perilous, which is reserved for the best knight, Galahad. Note there are 3 tables as there are 3 Grail winners.

The Table has its own mysterious personality because it holds the corporate identity of the fellowship of Arthur's knights. It is the great reconciler of opposites and the dispenser of fate, as its image in the Tarot indicates. Ultimately, the Table is unable to contain the tensions of the opposites, thus Arthur and his knights destroy each other. This comes about through the male/female symbol of the opposites, Launcelot and Guinevere. This makes the table an altar of sacrifice.

In a sense the Round Table is the field of fate, the symbolic place where the Quest is pursued. For this reason, the 12 Single letters of the Kabala and the 12 paths of the Tree of Life that relate to them, are right here at the Table. Of the 7 Doubles, this is the middle letter/path and hence balances the 3 on each side. On the Tree, the Table is on the path of

Jupiter and brings Grace/Ugliness.

Kundry is the fearsome Grail messenger. We have already met her. On the paths of the Tree, she is on the path of Mars and brings Wealth/Poverty. We already know that her outward repulsiveness hides an inner grace and beauty. This is not a mere fairy tale. Kundry is our own image, the self we dislike because it is so true. And yet, with her help we shall win the Grail and overcome our own inner poverty with spiritual wealth. We should welcome Kundry when we meet her. But that takes wisdom and like Parsifal we are foolish.

Gawain is the first to pledge himself to the Quest and the last to give it up. Time and again, he comes within a heartbeat of winning the Grail, but never quite makes it.

He finds his way to the Grail Castle but like Parsifal before him, he fails to ask the Question and therefore fails to heal the Waste Land and the wounded king. However he does comment about the Spear that drips blood as it is carried in

the Grail procession. This is sufficient to perform a partial healing, and since he fails to ask the Question, his quest becomes for the Sword that beheaded John the Baptist. But the Sword is always broken and it is his task to discover how to unite the two pieces of the blade. He is able to do so only after many adventures. That is because his fault is impatience.

His heraldic sign is the pentagram that points to the 5 Transformations of the Grail. His heroic failure is important to us because he is clearly dedicated to the Grail. The Quest is as important as the Grail. Many are called but few are chosen. On the Tree he is on the path of the Sun and brings Seed/Desolation. Within the desolation of our many failures is the seed of our success.

Finally there is the Grail. What is it? The universe cannot contain it, but it shines like a star to guide us on our way. How do we win it? By asking the Question. If it is that simple, why doesn't everyone have it? Because we are Parsifal the foolish knight. How do we become wise? By seeking the Grail. Why must we seek it? Because we are in the Waste Land. What restores the Waste Land? The Question. On the Tree, the Grail is on the path of Saturn and

brings both Peace and War.

Why should the Grail Knight go in search of the Grail when its gifts are supposed to be freely available upon the altar of every church in the land? This is a mystery that is uncovered at the same time as the answer to the Question is given.

Good intentions are not enough for the Grail Seeker. It is necessary to believe in the Quest itself and to exclude all other things, however honourable, from the mind. The Grail must be sought in the heart of the Seeker.

Although the Grail is a healing force, it will scourge as often as it will nourish. Those chosen few who pass its rigorous tests are transformed. But those who attempt to grasp its meaning before they are ready, are purged and often destroyed. When Lucifer fell from heaven, the emerald stone in his crown fell to earth. As it did so, it changed from Stone to Sword, then to Spear and Cup, and finally to Dish.

The Grail is usually seen as the centre point of the earth and that place where the earth is joined to the sky. It is the threshold between worlds and is a source of fertility, abundance and life. It is the point from which all directions are established. This also applies to time and all times occur simultaneously.

The hidden yet obvious symbol of the Grail is the Round Table. Let us ride to Arthur's court and take our rightful place at the Table as one of the 12 knights.

Quest for the Holy Grail 4

DISCOURSE 4
by Jack Courtis Twelve are the knights who sit at the Table Round, 12 are

the signs of the Zodiac, 12 are Christ's disciples and there are 12 Single letters and associated paths on the Tree of Life. The principle of the operation of the 12 letters is on/off. This compares with the positive/negative of the 7 Double letters and the simultaneous two way flow of the 3 Mothers. Note the duality in 3 different forms. This duality points to the reconciliation of opposites as the fundamental technique of the Quest. Hence for every knight, there is a lady. For Nasciens there is Kundry, for Uther there is Igraine.

The most famous pair is Launcelot and Guinevere. It is they who by their illicit love destroy the Round Table fellowship. The Grail demands more than love. It requires wisdom, knowledge and understanding, the fruits of the Tree of Life.

Let us now ride on and seek the 12 aspects of the Table. Although we are in a dark forest, and our guides are yet to be seen, we have come to realize that there is order implied in the wild and gloomy places all around us. We have not yet experienced all the adventures of the Quest, but a pattern is beginning to emerge in the inner landscape, an implicate order. Let us begin with the overall scheme.

PATH TAROT 15 16 17 18 19 20 22 24 25 26 28 29 Emperor

GRAIL Uther Pendragon

IMAGE Rod Triple Crown

Hierophant Blaise Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Strength Death

Launcelot/Guine Winged Heart vere Taliesin Arthur Joseph of Arimathea Bors Green Knight Maze Siege Perilous Flowering Staff Sword Waste Land Sword in Stone Skull Blood Spindle

Temperance Galahad Devil Star Moon Klingsor Dindraine Nimue

Uther is the dragon king as his surname suggests. He is the last pagan king and the father of Arthur. His, is the old religion of the Goddess. He establishes the kingdom that Arthur is to inherit.

The emperor's rod is his symbol - law and order. But the rod is also the outward symbol of Merlin's rod of power. Since Merlin stands behind Uther to arrange matters, Uther is the outward form of Merlin. Uther is temporal power and Merlin is spiritual power.

Blaise is Merlin's master. His origins are obscure, but in one of the Grail writings he is a guardian of the Grail. In a sense, Blaise is the inner self of Merlin. When the mysteries are complete, Merlin reports to Blaise, who then records the details of the Quest. Truly he is the Hierophant of the mysteries of the Grail and the triple crown belongs to him.

Launcelot and Guinevere immediately bring to mind romantic notions and images of winged hearts. They are the classic lovers, doomed for their love. We have a sentimental notion of them that is misleading. Projected outwards, they are the stuff of popular culture, TV culture. Seen inwards, they are principles of our own beingness that we have failed to reconcile.

Launcelot is a descendant of Joseph of Arimathea and is intended to achieve the Grail. That is why he is given into the care of the Lady of the Lake, to be trained as the greatest of the knights of the Round Table. He is to reconcile Christianity (symbolised as the Grail) with the old religion of the Goddess (symbolised as the cauldron). Launcelot fails in all of this because of his adulterous love for Guinevere. That is why Merlin arranges for him to father Galahad.

In one of the Grail writings, there is a tragic scene when Launcelot comes to the door of the chapel where the Grail Mass is being celebrated. He tries to enter but the Grail rejects him and he is temporarily blinded and paralysed. This is a symbol of our own experience when the true nature of our conduct is realised by us, consciously or sub-consciously.

Launcelot is a "fallen" man. He has become very deeply enmeshed in the illusions of the world. He has allowed an image of human perfection (Guinevere) to replace the image of God. Guinevere and Launcelot vow not to see each other alone again. They break their vow and release the forces that

destroy the Round Table fellowship. They destroy the outer kingdom of Arthur and the inner kingdom of Blaise and Merlin.

The importance of the lovers cannot be over-emphasised, precisely because we misunderstand them so badly. It is Guinevere's power over Launcelot that causes him to fail in the Quest. It is the feminine principle that determines success or failure. This is a mystery.

Taliesin is the poet who (under another name) obtains knowledge, wisdom and inspiration by drinking 3 drops of the draught brewed by the Goddess in her cauldron (a symbol of the Grail). In her anger she pursues him and they both change their shapes until at last she as a hen, swallows him, as a grain of wheat. She bears him in her womb for 9 months until he is reborn. She throws him into the sea but he is rescued and receives his new name - Taliesin. This is a clear allusion to the whole process of initiation and to its results. The maze and chariot are other symbols for this process. Arthur is never expressly identified as the wounded king,

but in truth, that is who he is. The Waste Land is Arthur's Britain grown sick, in its inner aspect. The outer symbol of Arthur's inner wound, is the relationship of Launcelot and Guinevere. In a sense, Arthur personifies Britain and all the characters and places mentioned in the Quest, are the inner aspects of Arthur's being. It is for his benefit that the Quest is pursued. It is Arthur's failure to love Guinevere that brings disaster to the Round Table fellowship and death to those he loves. And yet, this is justice.

The heart of the problem is that there is a causal relationship between the well-being and health of the king on the one part and the fertility of the land on the other. In legal/political terms, this relationship is called sovereignty. In the case of the Quest, the wounded king is not fit to rule. He has lost sovereignty. Since Guinevere is the earthly representative of the divine feminine, Arthur's failure to unite with his queen means that he has failed to exercise sovereignty and has caused the land to become waste. Mortally wounded, he is taken onto a ship (a variant of the Ship of Solomon) and accompanied by 3 queens (hope, faith and love), passes into Avalon, where he still waits for the healing of the land and his own healing. He is the once and future king. Only Galahad, who claims the Siege Perilous, can heal Arthur and restore the Waste Land.

As the ship carries Arthur away, his sword Excalibur is returned to the Lady of the Lake, thus ending his claim to the realm and to his right to sovereignty. The importance of this sword is that his claim to the throne, to kingship, to marriage with Guinevere (the representative of sovereignty) and the land, rests upon his success in pulling another sword from the stone. Yet that original sword is not Excalibur. The Lady of the Lake gave Excalibur to him in token of his right to sovereignty. Having failed, Excalibur must be returned.

Sovereignty appears throughout the Quest personified in different guises but especially in three fundamental forms: virgin, mother and hag. This is a mystery. Because of his failure to achieve sovereignty, Arthur's land is waste yet paradoxically, he is guardian to the source of inexhaustible abundance and everlasting life. This would have healed him except for his failure. Note well, Arthur's failure is our failure.

Who is Arthur? Who is Galahad? Who are we?

We have already met Joseph of Arimathea. It is only necessary to emphasise that he is the supreme guardian of the Grail. He planted his staff at Glastonbury and it flowered on Christmas day. His 12 disciples each received a piece of land around the chapel he established. Note the symbolism -12 seats around the Table, 12 signs of the zodiac around the Sun, 12 disciples around Christ. Joseph is the archetypal hermit.

Bors is known to us as the ordinary man who wins the Grail. He tries and perseveres, but is somewhat surprised by his success. His basic strength is his humanity and decency, well symbolised by his sword.

The Green Knight is Klingsor's agent in the Waste Land. He is a form of "dark" guardian and a bringer of death. In many different forms, he is the opponent of all Grail seekers. He is also within each of us and we know his presence with each hurtful word we utter and every destructive act we commit.

Galahad stands between Klingsor and the Green Knight and restores the Waste Land by winning the Grail. We know him already as the knight who draws the Sword from the red stone. He has attained two aspects of the Grail. Only he can claim the Siege Perilous at the Round Table and redeem the place of Judas at Christ's table. He transforms the Path of Blame to the Path of Love.

Klingsor is the dark magus who emasculates himself in order to gain greater power. Truly an aspect of the Devil, the skull is his symbol. He is pledged to the destruction of the Grail or the misuse of its powers. He sends forth the Green Knight to roam the Waste Land and defeat the seekers on the Quest. Beware, for Klingsor lurks in our hearts.

All seekers must meet him in his lair and overcome him. He is the dark side of our being, thus we cannot destroy him without destroying ourselves. We can only transcend him by reconciling the opposites within us. He is the Terror on the Threshold of the inner Temple. We cannot reach the salvation the Temple offers us, unless we also save Klingsor.

We have met Dindraine and know that she is the way-shower of the path of self-sacrifice. The Sword which is an aspect or form of the Grail, is the sword used to kill John the Baptist. When she accompanies the 3 Grail winners in the Ship of Solomon, she makes a new belt for the Sword from her own hair. This is an aspect of service by giving another part of her substance, hair as well as her blood.

She embodies feminine wisdom. In a sense, she is also a Grail winner. By self-sacrifice she creates a new life and points to the kabalistic mystery of the relationship of the three Mothers to the ineffable name of God - YHVH. Nimue is the fairy who enchants Merlin. The spindle is the symbol of the spinning of fate and the Moon creates the right conditions for enchantment. She is glamour personified. bewitching, alluring, diverting the Seeker from the path that is straight and narrow. It is easy to believe that we seek the Grail, when in fact we have lost our way. She spins 9 rings around Merlin and imprisons him in a crystal tower overgrown with hawthorn. On the Tree, she leads to Yesod, the 9th Sefira and the sub-conscious. This shows where the tower is built. In the depths of Merlin's mind - our mind.

Merlin fails but it is not Merlin's failure that destroys the Round Table fellowship. It is the failure of Arthur and of the knight of the heart, Launcelot. This is a mystery. Like Parsifal, we have followed many paths, for many years. We have stumbled and fallen but have never given up. The Grail Castle is now in sight. Let us seek admittance from the gatekeeper.

Quest for the Holy Grail 5

DISCOURSE 5
by Jack Courtis You have had many adventures, but now you are standing at the gate of the Grail Castle. The gatekeeper will not let you pass unless you satisfy him that you are on the Quest and that you are no longer foolish. You must answer his questions:

Q: What do you seek? A: The Grail. Q: What is the Grail? A: It has different forms. Q: How do you seek the unknown? A: By following the path. Q: Where does the path begin? A: At this gate. Q: Where does it end? A: At this gate. Q: How do you know you are on the path? A: The Grail guides me. Q: Is the Quest easy? A: The path is long and the task heavy.

Q: How shall you accomplish the task? A: All who go forth on the Quest achieve their heart's desire. Q: What do you take with you? A: Courage, love and dedication. Q: How will you bring back what you find? A: In my heart. Q: Where is the Grail hidden? A: ln the maze in the heart of this castle. Enter, with my blessing. You have satisfied the gatekeeper and you are in the hall of the wounded king. The Grail procession goes past and you witness the 5 Transformations. The Emerald Stone of Lucifer becomes the Sword that killed John the Baptist; then it becomes the Spear which pierced Christ on the Cross; it changes to the Cup which held His blood; and finally it is the Dish which carried the head of John the Baptist. These are the 5 inner mysteries of the Grail. They are the 5 wounds of Christ symbolising the individual quests of Parsifal, Galahad, Bors, Launcelot and Gawain, at their

respective castles. WOUND Crown of Thorns Wrists Side Ankles Whipping CASTLE Camelot Corbenic IMPLEME KNIGHT NT Stone Sword Parsifal Galahad Bors Launcelot Gawain

Adventurou Spear s Joyous Garde Cup

Marvellous Dish

Why 5 inner mysteries? How do they relate to: 1 Tree of Life 3 Mother letters/paths 7 Double letters/paths 12 Single letters/paths

The inner landscape of the Grail implies an order amongst the dark forests and stern castles of the imagination. This implicate order points to an explanation of reality that gives it meaning. This meaning lies behind the confusion of images and the numerous characters that are found in this land. It is found in numbers and the relationship between numbers. Here is a clue: Ain Sof Aur Stone Emanation Creation Formation Action Sword Spear Cup Dish 5 transformations 1 Tree of Life 3 Mother letters 7 Double letters 12 Single letters

There is a Tree of Life on each of the 4 Worlds of Manifestation and therefore, 3, 7 and 12 letters/paths, on each of those 4 Worlds. Each of the Worlds is symbolised by the 4 Grail objects of Sword, Spear, Cup, Dish. However, the Stone is above manifestation. It simply IS. As a cube, it has 3 dimensions and points to the mystery of the 3-fold Ain Sof Aur. It is the rock on which Christ builds His church.

Alternatively from the above relationship between the Grail

objects and the Tree, we can reach the following correspondences. The Dish is an obvious symbol for the zodiac with its 12 signs and the 12 Single letters. The Cup relates to the reversal of the flow of life of the 7 Double letters in the way symbolised by the Tarot card Temperance. There is a flow of energy, backwards and forwards, between 2 cups. Further, the Spear used to pierce the side of Christ on the cross has a metal point in the shape of an elongated triangle. A symbolic reference to the 3 Mother letters. The Sword relates to the Tree in that the emanation of God's life into the universe is via the path of the Flaming Sword. Finally the Stone is itself the beginning and the end of the 5 Transformations. The 22 paths on each of the 4 Worlds give us ample adventures on the Quest. We must experience all of them, as the outer mysteries. Then we must enter the 5 Castles of the inner mysteries. Only then, can we face the gatekeeper of the Grail Castle, to be allowed into the hall of the wounded king.

Let us observe the Procession more closely. This is as Wolfram describes it. A door opens and 2 maidens enter each carrying a lighted candle. They are followed by 2 ladies carrying ivory stools that are put down in front of the wounded king and Parsifal. Now 2 groups of 4 ladies join

them, one group carries tall candles and the other group carries a tabletop. They lay the tabletop on the stools thus creating a symbolic portal of the temple. They form an 8-pointed star.

A further 2 maidens appear carrying a silver knife each. They are followed by 4 more maidens carrying candles. Next come 6 more ladies, carrying vessels, who escort the Grail Queen. She bears the Grail itself. These last 7 form a 7-pointed star.

How many are there? The Queen plus 24. What do the stars mean?

There follows a moment when the Grail Queen stands with one circle of 12 on her left and another circle of 12 on her right. The 2 circles represent the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. They are also the Masonic pillars Joachim and Boaz. Who does the Queen represent? Finally comes the moment when the Queen stands in the middle of a circle of 24, each carrying a light. They represent the 24 elders before

the throne of God. But why are they all women? Bread and wine are served. Now there is deep silence. The gatekeeper speaks to you:

"Well Sir Knight, you have seen the Grail Procession. Have you asked the Question?"

What will you tell him? It is no excuse to say that you do not know what question to ask. That means instant failure. Think of it this way, it is the same as the Zen koan:

"What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

There is a technical answer to it but to give it in a book or a discourse is to deprive the Seeker of the right to make the effort to understand. Thus the Grail tradition is the same as Zen in this instance. The aim is for the Seeker to intuitively know what is required. This knowledge comes from the Quest successfully completed. Of course, that is only when

the Question is asked.

But why should the healing process be triggered by a question? Because the asking of the Question is a spontaneous gesture and an intuitive act of compassion. Only a Grail Knight who has touched his/her own pain, can respond to the pain of another human being.

Paradox is the very essence of the Quest and the way in which insight is developed. In turn, this is how enlightenment operates; in a non-rational way that is devastatingly powerful as Parsifal discovers. How can it be otherwise? The Quest is about self-discovery in a mythological sense. It is the quest for reality by an explanation that gives it meaning. The reason why paradox is the road that takes us to a reality that can only be explained by myth, is because in the West we have a confused notion of the nature of reality. Christianity insists that it is historically true and thereby forces upon our consciousness, linear time. That is, reality is something that is measured by a clock. History is therefore the description of the factual, outer world of unique events that are unrepeatable. However myth (as an explanation of

reality that gives it meaning) operates on a different kind of time, cyclic time. Myth resonates with our innermost being. It continues to renew its cyclic patterns and symbols. It is precisely these mythical and cyclic motifs that have the power to give us self-transformation. History and linear time do not have this unique ability. Consequently, when a myth is confused with "historical" events, its entire transforming power is lost. Myths describe a reality that is more "real" than the here and now. And so for the Quest, healing is seen as a renewal of the life force of the king and the land. The healing of the king's wound can only be brought about by the radical transformation of each individual into a whole and complete being. This includes both our male and female natures.

Did you notice something about the Grail procession? They were all women. The mysteries of the Grail are female mysteries, well symbolised by the rose. This is important because each Good Friday the dove descends on the Table Round and the mystic rose at its centre unfolds and glows. What does this mean? Look at the rose at the centre of the Hermetic Rose Cross that follows this page. The outer petals have the 12 places for Arthur's knights. The next 7 petals take us through the opposite qualities that the knights must reconcile. The inner 3 petals take us to the mystery of the triune God. At the centre, is the Stone unfolded with its 5

petalled rose that points to the 5 Transformations of the Grail. The 4 great arms of the Cross remind us of the Sword, the Spear, the Cup and the Dish. Within each arm is the 5-fold transformation shown again, within the 3-fold principle.

Quest for the Holy Grail 6

DISCOURSE 6
by Jack Courtis The time has come to ride forth on our own Quest. Are we like Parsifal, naive and foolish? Let's find out. We stand where he stands, at Objective Consciousness, here and now. What do we see? There are 3 paths before us, the path of Avalon to our left, the path of the Grail directly ahead and the path of Nimue to our right. Which path shall we take? We cannot see what lies beyond them so we must proceed with the faith of innocence.

Avalon of the Stars is a wondrous sight but it hides the Mother letter Shin. Its mode of action is a simultaneous 2-way flow of force that is shattering if we are not prepared for it, by many feats of strength and courage. Dare we take this path? Perhaps not.

Surely the path of the Grail is the obvious way to go? After all it is direct. Beware it is the path of Tav - the Cross. Its mode of action is the alternating reversal of force. It brings crucifixion to those who arc not prepared, as well as to those

who are. This is Parsifal's path. He took it too soon. Are we going to succeed where he failed? Unlikely.

There is only one alternative. The path of Nimue. Can this be right? After all, she enchanted the mighty Merlin. What chance do we have? The clue is in the mode of operation of this path. It is a single path and therefore its mode of operation is on/off. It is a matter of timing. When the force flows we cannot proceed because it goes against us and we are yet too weak. When it does not flow, we can go forward. With care and boldness we can succeed on this path.

And so, beginning to be aware of the mystery of Time, we ride forth and the enchantress does not ensnare us. Our reward is to transform into Galahad. But now new problems arise, because we have 3 different paths to contend with. Again, we cannot see what lies beyond them. But this time something is different. As Galahad, we have developed the unquenchableDesire for the Grail. That generates an inner strength we did not have before.

The path of Dindraine is attractive because she is the Grail Maiden and the Cup Bearer. Moreover it is a single path and its on/off flow has been mastered. But this path leads directly to the Waste Land and although we cannot see it, we can feel it, because as Galahad we are the master of feeling. Not this way!

Kundry is as repulsive as Dindraine is beautiful. In any event, this is a double path with a 2-way flow of force. Look what happened to Parsifal. There is no need to go looking for trouble.

And yet, the Green Knight is trouble. He is the creature of Klingsor, the agent of destruction, the sworn enemy of the Grail. Are we ready to face him? It is only a single path after all and it is a matter of timing isn't it? Is our desire strong enough, or do we lack belief? Sometimes the easy path is not the right path. What to do? Which path to follow? And then the flash of divine inspiration - timing! When the flow of a double path is against us, it will crush us. But when it is with us, it will take us to our destination. And so we plunge into the path of Kundry and..........shock! We come across the path of, Galahad?!

Galahad stares at himself. What does this mean?

It is the mystery of the Self and of self-knowledge. We already possess all that we need, if only we knew it. The whole point of the Quest is that the Grail that we seek is already staring us in the face. Like Galahad, we have desire, but we do not yet have the necessary knowledge to believe and therefore to know. And so we plunge on leaving the mystery unsolved.

But we are rewarded by being transformed into Bors. Poor old Bors, he lacks the tragic nobility of Parsifal and the brilliant charisma of Galahad, but he perseveres. With Intellect he thinks things through and although rather puzzled by the whole Quest, he doggedly pursues it. We need the qualities of Bors if we are to succeed. So what do we see? To our dismay there are 3 paths to choose from. To our left, Klingsor. To our right, Gawain and to our far right, Avalon.

We cannot see what lies beyond each path, but like Bors, we can think it through. Klingsor's path is a single path and therefore operates on/off, it is only a matter of timing. But Klingsor is the evil adept. If we make a mistake, we lose more than our life. We are not ready to face Klingsor. This confrontation must come, but it is not yet time.

Why not the path of Gawain? True, it is a double path, but timing and courage will get us through. However as Bors we have the advantage of the experience of Parsifal who has already failed on a double path and the intuition of Galahad who feels the Waste Land on the other side of this particular path.

In that case there is only the path of Avalon. But this is the path of a Mother letter and a simultaneous 2-way flow of force. What to do? The charismatic act of plunging into the path on clever timing will not help us. We must act on faith and sheer courage. Bors personifies Intellect, Galahad personifies Desire. Together, these qualities generate courage. Ride forth to Avalon! We are rewarded by being transformed back into Parsifal. But now, we are a new person, a true knight, tried and tested. There are no more distractions. There is only one path - the Grail path. With ObjectiveConsciousness we know our purpose. With Desire we have the passion to achieve it. With Intellect we believe it can be achieved. Since we have traveled this path before, we know that the Waste Land of our Sub-Conscious lies before us. That is exactly the focus of the Quest.

Redeem the Waste Land! Heal the wounded king - heal yourself!

Ride on Sir Knight, the Grail Castle of Kosmic Consciousness lies ahead. And here is the mystery of the path of Galahad that we faced before. Although Parsifal, Galahad and Bors all win the Grail, it is Galahad who heals the wounded king. It is on his path that we ride into the Grail Castle. The qualities that get us there are passion, tempered with knowledge and belief. The Tarot card of this path is Temperance.

Here is the final ride of the Grail Knight.

Is this the end? Of course not. There are many more adventures for the Grail Knight. We must still get to the holy

city of Sarras. That will complete the lesser mysteries of the Grail. But then there are the greater mysteries connected with the 5 Transformations. Thus riding into the Grail Castle in triumph is only part of the Quest. The point is that we can achieve this part of the Quest on the basis of our own desire, belief and knowledge. We cannot go higher by ourselves. We still do not understand the meaning of all this. We need to be shown the way by guides.

Ride on Sir Knight, with the blessings of the Holy Grail.

Quest for the Holy Grail 6

DISCOURSE 7
by Jack Courtis If the Quest is a system of self-transformation, what does this mean? The clue is that the Grail undergoes 5 miraculous changes. Its form is not fixed, it is in constant flux. Moreover, it is a catalyst, an agent of change, which is in its essential nature unchangeable. Let us review its operation.

From Stone it changes to Spear, then to Sword and Cup,

finally to Dish. The cycle is then repeated until the transformation is complete. Whose transformation? Ours. What does this mean? First let us visualise the process

These ritual objects of the Grail symbolise our internal processes. We can understand this statement when it is

compared with alchemy. GRAIL Stone Spear Sword Cup Dish ALCHEMY Aether Fire Air Water Earth

But what does it mean? Simply this: just as the Quest happens in our own heart and mind, the Great Work of transmutation happens in our body - our psychic body. Both the Grail and Alchemy relate to our psychic centres, but not in a one to one relationship and not in a linear relationship. Once these points are understood, both the Quest and the Great Work become clear. The Alchemical or Grail nature of our being acts in a special way with respect to our psychic centres. Some of the centres are grouped together. The whole scheme is activated in a spiral fashion, not a linear fashion. Finally, the order in which the principles are given is different. PSYCHIC CENTERS Crown/Brow ALCHEMY Aether GRAIL Stone

Heart/Throat Navel Sacral Root

Air Fire Water Earth

Sword Spear Cup Dish

The spiral begins at the navel centre with the Spear and Fire. Next it goes to the root centre with the Dish and with Earth. It progresses to the heart/throat area with the Sword and Air. Then it goes to the sacral centre with the Cup and with Water. Finally, it arrives at its destination, the crown/brow area with the Stone and Aether.

The crown/brow and heart/throat are treated as areas which means that it is the combined effect of these psychic centres that is important. They have to be reconciled. This is a mystery. but what starts the process? Why at the navel centre? Have you ever heard the expression that a man has "fire in his belly"? have you ever wondered about the historical contemporaries of the Grail Knights, the Knights Templar? How is it possible to be a warrior/monk? How can you be a seeker of God and also a person who uses violence? In the East it is said that martial arts are a particularly effective means of beginning the path to enlightenment. In Alchemical terms, Fire is the agent of

transmutation. The process begins with Fire and ends with the higher forms of fire known as Aether.

Let us look at the process in its 5-fold manifestation in the alchemical context of our psychic body:

The spiral of the Alchemical process is 5-fold and takes us in the order: 1. Fire (navel) 2. Earth (root) 3. Air 4. Water 5. Aether (crown/br ow)

(heart/thr (sacral) oat)

The Quest for the Grail takes us in a linear fashion (but not in a straight line): 1. Spear 2. Sword 3. Cup (fire) (air) (water) 4. Dish (earth) 5. Stone (aether)

Both the Quest and the Alchemical process begin with Fire and end with Aether. However the internal steps are different. The similarities point to the ultimate unity of the 2 systems. The differences are subtle and point to the variety of means by which the process of self- transformation can be achieved.

We know that the Grail has different forms. However we are still entitled to seek its ultimate nature. We know at least this

much, that it is 5-fold, ie that there are 5 fundamental principles that explain it. Think of the 'Tree of Life, it has 3 pillars and functions by polarity (male/female) ie 5 principles. The point is that there is a hidden order in the kosmos, an implicate order, which is the unifying principle that guides us to the process of self- transformation.

As Grail Knights, let us attain the Holy Grail in the Grail Castle and redeem the Wasteland.

Pilgrims Dream

by Jack Courtis

We might not know this and we might not like it, but we are all pilgrims on the inner journey of personal transformation. In this journey we still have not realised that there is a unity between the dreamer, the dreaming and the dream. So let us

accept ourselves as we are; as the dreamer. Let us now experience the dream.

*******

It is a lovely day and you are walking in a forest. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, birds are singing, flowers and butterflies are everywhere. Feel safe and secure, completely at peace. As you follow the path through the forest, come to a clearing. In the middle there is a round building that you instinctively know is a chapel. As a pilgrim, you know that this is a place that you must enter because here you will find redemption and healing.

Move around this building and notice that it has 12 doors but no windows. Each door has upon it the symbol of one of the signs of the zodiac. You realise that you must look for your own sign. Pause and observe. When you find it, notice that there is no handle on the door. How do you go inside? Then you hear a gentle voice say to you "Seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you." Without

understanding why, you knock on the door 3 times. It opens, walk inside and it closes behind you. Although there are no windows there is a muted golden light that enables you to see clearly. There is no furniture inside this round building and no other structure. The floor is completely bare except that in the middle, there appears to be an opening. Go to it and see that there are 7 steps leading downwards. Walk down the steps and see that on the wall next to each one, there is the symbol of a planetary sign: the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. Go down in perfect safety and security. When you reach the bottom of the steps, pause. You realise that although there are no torches or other sources of light, nevertheless you are still bathed in a golden glow. You see everything clearly. You are in a small chamber. In front of you is a door and upon it, is a symbol which you understand to be the alchemical principle Salt. Knock 3 times (* **) and the door opens. Walk through. Pause and reflect. What does this mean? You find a second door. It has upon it a symbol that you instinctively know to be the alchemical principle Sulfur. Again you knock 3 times (** *) and the door opens. Pause once more. How do you feel? Walk through and find a third door. This time it has a

symbol you believe is the alchemical principle Mercury. Once more knock 3 times (***) and the door opens. Pause and consider its meaning, then go through into total darkness.

Although surrounded by blackness, you feel that you are in a large room. You are not afraid because the gentle voice speaks to you again and says, "Be not afraid little one; I am with you always, even unto the end of the world". Become aware of a very dim light radiating from a single candle. With confidence walk towards the candlelight.

When you reach it, there is a table. Upon it, the candle holder is placed on a stone in the shape of a cube. The stone is an emerald colour. Behind it on the table, is a sword. To its right there is a cup and to its left is a spear. Immediately in front of it, there is a dish. You realise that you are standing in front of an altar and that the cup holds wine and the dish holds bread.

Again, the gentle voice speaks to you "I have come that ye

may have life, and have it more abundantly". You now understand that you are in the Grail Chapel. Be aware that the Grail Guardian and Grail Bearer are here for you.

Pause for a moment and realise that you are the dreamer and this is the dreaming. But what is the dream? Without understanding why, you desire to reflect upon your life. Pause as your mind focuses on the pain from your past. Perhaps tears flow and you cannot stop them. Maybe the pain is pouring out, causing you overwhelming grief. This is your most secret, most private sorrow. Pause and reflect that this is the pain that you have not mentioned even to those whom you love the most. But here, in this dark place, you allow it to come out. Since you are a pilgrim and you are in the Grail Chapel, you have the strength and courage to face it honestly.

Pause and hear the gentle voice speak to you and say "Ask |". And suddenly you desire to invoke the Grail Bearer. In your own way, do so. There is a flash of rose pink light and a woman appears on the other side of the altar, facing you. She is richly dressed and carries herself like a queen. Strangely, you cannot see her face. Again you desire to invoke, this time the Grail Guardian. A flash of bluish white

light and a male figure stands before you. He is dressed as a monk. Again, you cannot see his face.

You are lost for words but speech is not required here. You know what you must do. Reach inside of yourself and touch the pain in your heart. Somehow you see it, hear it or feel it in a way that you are able to symbolise. Bring this symbol out of yourself and hold it in your hands as an offering. Pause and then reach across the altar and give it to the Guardian. He takes it from your hands and turns to face the woman. He and she together hold your symbol between them. Her wisdom and his understanding combine to draw down a golden beam of light that you know to be divine grace.

This light shines upon the symbol of your pain and transforms it into pure love. The symbol changes into a new form. A form that for you, is your own personal redemption, at your deepest most secret level. They now hand this transformed symbol back to you. Pause, receive it with thanks and joy and absorb it back through your heart, into your deepest inner self.

Now feel yourself being transformed. The pain begins to subside and then totally disappears. You begin to breathe deeply. Feel pure, unconditional love flowing through you. As you continue to breathe deeply, a marvellous sense of calm and inner-peace washes over you. You sense that all is well. Pause and feel joyous. It is your right.

To give thanks to the Grail Guardian and Grail Bearer all you need to do is bow to them. Do so. They bow in return and vanish.

Your own inner light now replaces the light of the single candle. Turn about and walk out through the 3 alchemical doors and up the 7 planetary steps. At the top of the steps, pause and notice that the 12 zodiacal doors have disappeared. Your inner light flows out of the Grail Chapel in 12 powerful streams.

Know yourself to be the dreamer, the dreaming and the dream. You are a pilgrim no more.