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Dane Rudhyar's Fire Out of the Stone. Image Copyright 2007 by Michael R. Meyer.

A Reformulation of the
Basic Images of the
Judeo-Christian Tradition

by Dane Rudhyar, 1962

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This title was first published by Sevire, 1963.

Cover for the online edition copyright © 2008
by Michael R. Meyer.

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"Thy God is a cosumming fire."
Duet. 4:25

"He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Matthew 3:11

"I am come to send fire on the earth."
Luke 12:49

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"When man is as the woman and the woman as the man, there you will find me,"
Gnostic Saying of Jesus

Every great spiritual Movement is centered around a "truth", an image or ideal of what the life of man should incorporate and radiate, if lived in the fullest and highest sense possible to the human beings of the epoch at the beginning of which this Movement is initiated. He who is the true Source of this Movement, by his words and his example, by the impact his personality makes upon those who follow him, embodies this central dynamic truth. He releases the "tone" that sets vibrating in ever widening circles of human response a section of humanity, and perhaps eventually the whole of mankind.

In this book an attempt has been made to uncover the essential, dynamic, creative truth of Christianity as it can be seen emerging from the life and the words of Jesus, as we have them recorded, and also from the ancestral background (the Biblical narrative) which Christianity believes to have been fulfilled by Jesus, the Christ-being. The "Great Images" that are the very soul of Christianity have been discussed in an effort to provide a more convincing, more stimulating and inspiring interpretation of them for the men and women of our catastrophic century who certainly need desperately some spiritual renascence and a stirring vision of some essentially valid way, truth and life.

To most convinced Christians the central truth or ideal of the Movement which Jesus initiated probably appears to be "love" — just as perhaps, to Buddhists, the core of the truth which the life and words of Gautama the Buddha embodied in the sixth century B.C. might be said to be "detachment", or "the wisdom that transcends all dualities". This little word, love, even when qualified by other words, can however be quite confusing. It is to be hoped that the preceding chapter has made clear, and to some extent at least convincing and real, what love essentially means in the truly Christian sense. A further step in its interpretation seems nevertheless to be necessary in order to show more precisely what this love implies or reveals when understood in the deepest, most philosophical and encompassing, yet absolutely practical sense.

This more philosophical interpretation will take us back to the ideas expressed in the chapter defining the meaning of the much used and abused word "soul", and thus will be a seemingly fitting conclusion to this entire book. It is an intensely practical interpretation because it defines in universally valid terms what the "greater life" of man can be in all circumstances. This greater life is the way of man simply because it is essentially what man is. It represents man's place and function in the universe, at least as we know this universe today.

It is presumably not mere chance — whatever "chance" may mean, if it means anything at all! — that the very size of man places him about midway between the assumed size of the whole universe and that of the atom, as physicists like Jeans and Eddington have stated. This fact — if it is a fact! — can serve at least as a convenient symbol of the metaphysical concept according to which man stands in a central position "between" spirit and matter. This central position defines the soul of man; for as we have seen, the soul is to be considered as the Field of integration within which the Marriage of the highest and the lowest can be accomplished. The soul of man — or rather man as soul — like the old Roman god Janus, looks in two opposite directions: it faces both the past and the future. In other words it mediates all opposites.

The life in which the Truth of man operates at its fullest is "the life of mediation". Man, as Soul, is the mediator of all there is; and Jesus is the perfect man in that he fully embodied this state of mediatorship. In him spirit and matter and all polarities of being and existence were harmonized and integrated according to the character of these polarities — that is, with spirit as the positive, initiating pole. What we call Christ-love is the power which makes this integration possible as a practical, totally lived and demonstrated fact of experience.

The ideal of a life lived as a "middle way" was stressed by the Buddha in a most beautiful and insistent manner; but a position of balance between extremes is one thing, and the actual integration of these polar opposites in a life of mediation through the power of love-charity is another. There is a basic difference between standing at peace in the midst of conditions which pull in opposite directions, and bringing to a dynamic focus of transformation the two opposites; thus between peace and love. Love is not peace; yet in perfect Christ-love there is a core of peace, of total acceptance of suffering as well as of joy. This acceptance makes possible the steady containment of opposite forces and conflicting emotions. In the container's strength is peace; the container (the field of actualization of the soul) remains what it is even as it pulsates under the impact of the conflicting polar energies which are its contents. Conflict is experienced by the container's central consciousness of itself as a "dance"; gravitation and levitation have become the necessary elements of this dance of opposites. This dancing is mediation. What is mediated is experienced within; but it is also performed in the without, for it has to be a ritual act as well, a symbolic drama making visible and actual to all the principle of mediatorship and revealing the character of the love whose inclusiveness can alone transform the conflict into a dance, the tragic into the beautiful. This is the way, the truth and the life — potentially for all individual human beings.

The ideal of mediatorship has been exemplified in many ways throughout the centuries in which Christianity has spread all over the globe. The concept of the divine Marriage is well-known. Many Christians might well assent to the statement that the supreme destiny of man, as an individual person, is to be the Field within which the union of the Divine and of earth-nature is to be accomplished in clear consciousness and all-inclusive love. Yet any thorough discussion of the truth of such a statement would at once reveal that, for the orthodox Christian believer, this divine Marriage occurred only once and for all time in the person of Jesus Christ; and that the essential purpose of the Christ-incarnation was to "save" all men by "atoning" for their ancient collective sin. Thus the mediation of which the Church speaks is, in its essential character at least, reserved solely to Jesus as Christ; in Him the divine and human natures were integrated, and this integration was a special act to repair an event in time, man's "original sin". It is true that theologians speak of this Christ mediation as being an "eternal" act somehow transcending the framework of time, and that human beings after Christ can somehow "partake" in that mediation through an "imitation of Christ"; but it is here that the Church-inspired dogmas seem to confuse and deviate the truth.

The ideal of a life of mediation does not in essence apply only to one particular, miraculous case. It refers to the central potentiality inherent in any and all human lives. It refers to the place and position of Man in the universe, to the destiny of Man. The potentiality is latent in every human being; and it is this revolutionary fact that Jesus proclaimed in a variety of ways. Nevertheless one should be careful not to misunderstand such a statement of fact! It does NOT refer to man as an ego, as a socialized entity conforming to or reacting against traditional patterns. These patterns represent only the prenatal environment of true manhood; they condition man's early stages of growth, but he must emerge out of them if he is to be truly man — man the individual. Only in the individualized soul of man does this potentiality of true mediatorship exist. The ego is only a scaffolding needed to frame and simplify the work of making fully concrete and substantial the field of the soul's activity, the field within which this soul can act as mediator.

What the soul "mediates" ultimately is the unity of God and the multiplicity of material entities which are the remains of a past cycle of manifestation; but only the soul that has reached the stage of "divine soul" (as the term was defined in Chapter IV of this book) can effectuate such a mediation, for only the "divine soul" is actually an Agent of God, the One. This is not, however, the only level at which the life of mediation can operate! It can operate at any level where opposite forces are in a state of conflict. And this means everywhere; for all forms of existence are produced by the dynamic interplay of polar forces, and such an interplay always manifests at first as conflict, often as tragedy, to the consciousness involved in this interplay.

At any level the mediator's function is to transform conflict and potential tragedy into a temporary state of "catharsis" from which the life and consciousness of whoever is affected may emerge renewed and more inclusive. And who should be affected first of all, as the soul fulfills its function of mediator, if not the total being of the living person of whom this soul is the focus of integration! Yet in some cases this transformation seems inoperative, for that very person may, due to previous failures perhaps, give out to others what he should theoretically apply first of all to his own existential being. In this case, we may witness the phenomenon of genius in one field or another of social-cultural or even religious activity; for the truly creative-transforming genius is essentially a mediating activity between past and future; he is an "activity" even more than an "actor". The entire personality of the genius is to be considered as the mediating activity, for it represents not only the "solution", but the conflicts which summoned forth the integrating solution — the "Image of Salvation" or "redeeming Symbol". The "human condition" in its contemporary crisis is represented in the genius as the living and acting person; but the work of the genius reveals (or sometimes hides under an involved symbolism, as in a dream) the solution to this critical human situation.

What produces the mediating, integrating Image or Symbol is, one might say, the soul at the core of that person; yet often one may quite significantly visualize at the inmost center of this soul, an outpouring of truly divine creativity. "God", or a creative-transforming aspect of God, is Himself directly the spirit-pole in the mediating activity, while the matter-pole is the personality of the genius acting as a representative man for his race or culture. The real mediating process operates within and through the entire "field of soul" of the genius; and in that field the harvest of a long past may be said to have been concentrated. For, any true mediating activity must "redeem" the entire past.

Through any true act of mediation the past and the future, the alpha and the omega of the cycle being affected, become integrated, and their opposition is resolved in the present moment — the moment in which the whole cycle is focused and which can thus be called an "eternal" (or rather eonic) Now, or as in some mystical philosophies, "the Instant".

This edition copyright © 2008 by Michael R. Meyer
All Rights Reserved.

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