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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

Apostles and Seed-Men

Thus we stand at the threshold of the future as the Beatitudes end. The disciples are ready; or nearly so. They are enjoined to be the "salt of the earth" — that which gives taste to all things the mind of society will assimilate — and the "light of the world", rays of the Sun of the New Covenant. They are to radiate upon all men the great creative Truth that every "individual soul" in expression on this earth can actualize, in due time and season — its inherent potential of divine Sonship. The disciples will become apostles and fecundate the future with their heroic lives and their deaths.

But this was some nineteen centuries ago! What of today? Do we not find ourselves in a world situation which is practically the antipode of the one which the Apostles faced when Jesus sent them to spread fervently the "Good News" of the renewal of all values? For nineteen centuries this "Good News" has circulated through all continents, has been heard by billions of human beings. And what have been the results? What do we find as a cycle of history can be seen coming to its close — the very cycle which, I believe, the coming of Christ ushered in? The Apostles, they were the "beginning" of the cycle; are we not today the "end"? Assuredly, Christ can truly be said to be both the alpha and the omega of the cycle; but we, men of the twentieth century, who are the manifestations of this omega, cannot have the very same function, and display by nature the same character that the Apostles had to display in fulfilling their destiny.

As I said in the first chapter of this book, the situation is reversed. In the time of the Apostles Christianity was taking the offensive against crumbling religions and a disintegrating "universal society" of limited character. But in this, our time, Christianity is assuredly on the defensive; and the issue humanity faces seems to be either nearly total extinction, or a radical reorganization in terms of a global society which will integrate all peoples on all continents. Faced by such an alternative, what is our potential of destiny? It can certainly not be that of the Apostles after Jesus' official death. To spread a dogmatic Christianity to a few more wild tribes in the Amazon region makes very little sense — except as example of individual courage and faith — when the great Christian nations are pervaded with materialism, greed and lust (as a form of escape from meaninglessness) and totter aimlessly at the edge of an utterly senseless, and known to be senseless, total atomic war! What then?

A cycle is the expression, according to a time-formula, of a sequence of characteristic changes in the nature of the basic relationships which are the warp and woof of existence in a particular region of space. The basic relationships which characterize the alpha stage of an historical cycle are necessarily not the same as those which stand out as significant features of the omega stage (i.e. the consummation and close) of this cycle. Symbolically speaking, the small germ piercing the crust of the soil in springtime, eager to conquer space sunward, has evidently not the same character as the seed or the golden leaves falling earthward during autumnal days. Christ as a Principle in the ebb and flow of existence, or as a divine Being whose consciousness encompasses the entire tidal movement of a great cycle of time in its essential and structural enfoldment (not in its details, because that would cancel man's "freedom of choice"!) — Christ so considered is "changeless"; that is, He encompasses in His being the whole cycle of change. But we who live and have our being in His mystical (or "eonic") Body are, as men in actual existence, manifestations of the meaning, function and purpose of the brief span of time in which we live. We are expressions of change — expressions which may be totally or mostly unconscious of what they express, or which may consciously accept, and thus significantly assume, their place and function in the vast tidal movement of change.

The Apostles were germinal men. We can be one of two things: seed-men or leaf-men. We can let ourselves be caught in the terminal disintegration of all that belongs to the realm of green leaves, whose task it was to capture the sun's rays and assimilate their energy, transforming it into chemical (i.e. "cultural") products essential to earth-life; or we can somehow emerge from the plant of our society as potential vehicles for the life of the species, endowed with the kind of relative "immortality" and capacity for life-renewal which it is the seed's function to express.

The masses of humanity always follow the line of destiny of the leaves — they are swept by a tide of cultural, social, ethical disintegration which brings about the "vulgarization" (from vulga, meaning "crowd") of all the great values which had given form and significance to the culture and society of the "summer" period of the historical cycle. As to "seed men", they can operate at several levels — some strictly social and cultural, others truly "spiritual". At any level their lives reveal 1) a condensation of whatever has been essential in the historical cycle as a whole, and 2) the detachment of such essential qualities from the dying plant. Then after having "detached" themselves and fallen to the ground they become embedded in a new soil; or they are somehow kept in abeyance and latency for a future sowing, perhaps in distant regions of space.

Such a "condensation" (in the symbolic form of a seed) may mean many things. But it means inevitably that a principle of selectivity — i.e. of mental-spiritual discrimination — is at work, which separates the quintessence from the non-essential. To this process, of course, Jesus refers constantly in the Gospels. Moreover, all seeds are not "good" seeds! There are seeds of destructive as well as seeds of constructive cyclic activity; and the value of the greatest of Oriental philosophies is that they help us to realize that the dualism of good and evil — and indeed all dualities — are essential parts of the great "dance" of universal life, in all space and at all times. And because Man is by destiny the mediating principle, Man must become fully conscious of all the pairs of opposites. The "man of God" is he who has experienced both the consciousness of evil and that of good, and deliberately, freely has assumed responsibility for the side of the good; whereas the "man of evil" (the man "perfect" in evil) knows only what is evil, having seen himself compelled, by the accumulation of myriads of previous failures and defeats which he could have avoided, to refuse the good — to curse the Divine.

Jesus spoke of his disciples as having been "chosen" by him, as having been "given to him" by the Father. Jesus as the alpha of a great cycle of human evolution is the germinal beginning of this cycle. The Apostles are the "powers" of that germinal beginning, as the energy necessary to pierce through the soil's crust is being released. It is apparently a twelve-fold energy. There are twelve Apostles, as there were twelve Creative Hierarchies in the Sky (symbol of the Creative Order of the Universe as a whole) according to the cosmologies of Chaldea, China and other societies. Twelve is a number symbolizing a building activity directed outward; it refers to the establishment of the framework of existence, of the structure of any particular unit of microcosmic or macro-cosmic being.

The Apostles (and, after them, those men significantly called the Fathers of the Church) built the outer structures of the Christianity we have known thus far; they selected, in a more or less unconscious and inspired way, the Great Images of this Christianity which today is indeed being challenged, and which is, in most cases, only displaying a power of inertial resistance to the relentless waves beating against its foundations. The Apostles built these foundations out of their very blood. They built in the power of intense, uncompromising, unadulterable faith; they forged their tools in the fire of a limitless devotion, of a superbly blind yet immensely effectual love.

This today we cannot do. We have not the materials to do it with, as Christians. Yes, there are still heroic missionaries and Church consecrated men who are flashing magnificent examples of courage and stolid fervor in the darkness of our materialistic, technology-intoxicated century. But these examples are, more than anything else, protests; they are protests against the vulgarization and commercialization of all noble values. And yet they may also be sublime gestures of atonement as, for instance, that of Dr. Schweitzer deliberately taking upon his shoulders the colonial sins of his civilization. They may reveal, in the drama of lives heroically lived, the very core of the spirit of Christianity. They do reveal that the Christ-spirit is still pulsating within the body of official Christianity. Yet as a whole this body has lost its essential vitality, its creative world-transforming enthusiasm. Other religions are on the march, particularly the Bahai Faith whose apostles today establish centers all over the world in a spirit of intense devotion and self-abnegation rivaling that of the early Christians. And, in its early days at least, Communism too was a kind of religion which sent fervent and fanatic devotees to martyrdom.

What can we do, then, as Christians which would express our historical position at the close of a cycle which might well see, before this century ends, the widespread collapse of our civilization? If the Western civilization disintegrates as did the Roman Empire 1500 years ago (in whatever way this may take place) what is there for us to do which would have permanent value in terms of the future? And we may be very sure that it is what we do now, within the next twenty years or so, which will be our "last chance", if events pursue their relentless course.

What does the seed do, essentially, as Fall approaches? It transfers itself from the realm of the dying plant of a particular cycle of vegetation to that where the life of the whole species to which it belongs has its "immortal" being. The product of a yearly cycle (a seed) becomes the vehicle for the perpetuation (and perhaps the transformation through "mutation") of a whole species active in billions of plants for millions of years. Every seed is an "agent" for its species. Every "seed-man" likewise is an agent of That which stands as the mediating principle at the core of the World-Process, as the God-man, as the individualized expression of Man having become a divine focus for the harmonization of past into future, a Son of God incarnate.

The state of Christhood is essentially the seed state. The seed, understood as a universal symbol, represents the beginning and the end of all cycles. But the seed which is "beginning" has its being before the actual beginning. Christ is the seed; Jesus is the germ. Christ is the "eternal" (i.e. eonic) reality; Jesus is the initiating sacrifice in actual time — a sacrifice prolonged throughout the cycle of our present Christianity by the continuing sacrifice of his Apostles and of those who, physically and socially, fathered forth the Christian civilization, Eastern as well as Western.

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

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