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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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"Before Abraham was, I am."
John 5 : 48

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Matthew 5 : 48

The "Divine Soul"

If the "living soul" can be compared to the foundations of the human temple, and the "individual soul" to the rising structure above the ground, the "divine soul" is the meeting of God and the congregation of men within the illumined building. The "divine soul" is not form as much as it is contents. The individual is the container; God is the contents. But the contents, once held by the container, acquire a "name". They acquire a particular destiny or function. God Himself individualizes within and as man. And this is the meaning of the Incarnation.

God reveals Himself as Father when the "individual soul" realizes itself as a "son" of God, the One. In this moment of meeting, a direct line of descent is established between the One and a one. The very essence of divine unity enters the soul. It enters the soul as creative power, as the Fatherhood. Man becomes a "son" in actuality and in creative power as he receives the Fatherhood from the Father, the one "Initiator".

As this occurs, man comes of age in spirit. He becomes a full citizen of the Kingdom of God able gradually to wield, on his own responsibility, the transforming power of spirit. He becomes in actuality what he potentially was, a "divine soul".

As "divine soul", man is not only an Agent of God; he is above all the "image and likeness" of the Father. He is a particular aspect of God. In him the fact of "divine Sonship" is established, for all to see who have eyes to see. Not only does God speak through him, as the Lord of Israel spoke through Moses; he is God's Voice and he is, as well, the Word that is spoken.

There is one Voice; but the Word is many, because God, the One, must meet the individual needs of each "individual soul". One power of utterance; but many utterances. The Son, Christ, is one; but the "divine souls", the Christed individuals who have experienced their transfiguration on their own Mount of Transfiguration become, in time, many.

Yet the prototype of all "divine souls" in which Christ, the one Son, comes to birth is Jesus. Jesus is the First — at least insofar as our present human cycle is concerned. But there will be many who will come after him; some have no doubt come already. We may think of St. Francis of Assisi as one of them; but we should realize that "only the like can know the like."

The divine company of the true and creative "sons of God" is the one Brotherhood of the Perfect. They are known to each other by their common "likeness" to the Father. The "blood of Christ" is the substance of these souls. They constitute a Communion, a divine Host, in which each is a one and yet the One in expression.

Christ, the Son, is their oneness; Christ-love, the quality of this oneness. They are in Christ and Christ is in them, as the number one is in all numbers. All numbers are expressions of "one". They are "one" in varied aspects, in various degrees of relationship to unity, performing in varied places and at various times, the works of unity.

This goal of Perfection seems almost infinitely remote from the average man and woman of today. Yet it is only as we can orient ourselves toward such a consummation that we can be received and take our place, consciously, in the spiritual vanguard of humanity. If we do so, we must do it as souls and not as egos, however "good", devoted or productive of great works the ego might be! For the initiative is with the individual soul. Yet the ego can always block the meeting with the Divine in us by presenting endless objections, doubts and evasions. The initiative is with the soul, because it is the core of our being from which radiates the integrative power of spirit. It is the individual soul alone that can discover in a positive manner the Divine within and through its innermost center of emptiness; and this discovery makes it possible for the soul to partake in the Mastery, in the Fatherhood of God.

Alas, official Christianity throughout its long history has taught that an absolute distinction exists between the human being, the "creature", and God, the "Creator"; that Jesus alone was Christ, the one and only Son of God; that true creativity — the use of the power of the Fatherhood — is a goal utterly beyond man's reach. In so doing official Christianity has actually strengthened the schism inside of human beings in the process of gradual "individualization". It has been willing to consider only that transitional phase of the process during which the soul-energy, enmeshed in the web of the ego-structures, strives to gain its freedom from matter's pulls and life's conditionings and to be drawn back, as it were, to its original source, the "individual soul". This may be the phase most familiar today to human beings at the stage of ego development.

But to think of the whole process in terms of this one phase is to misunderstand its meaning.

Because it has been so misunderstood, the main emphasis has been placed, following the Hebrew tradition, on failure and sin — on a negative condition to be overcome, yet which man, as creature, could not alone overcome. We have been made to believe that something went wrong with God's Plan and that only a Divine Sacrifice could have repaired the essential harm and restored to man the opportunity that he originally and generically lost. We have been told that this process of sin and salvation has to be repeated in every man's life because "human nature" itself had been poisoned; that every individual reflectively experiences in his own human nature the original sin and can also experience, likewise reflectively, the Christ Salvation if he "believes" one-pointedly and totally in the latter, thus consenting, as it were, to the descent of the divine Grace; nay more, invoking it through prayer.

There is, no doubt, some element of truth in all these theological assertions. But does it really make sense to believe that something has basically gone wrong with God's Plan? Is not this belief based on an incomplete and naive or childish understanding of the entire process and "purpose" of Creation?

To a child it may seem that all that matters to parents is that they give birth to children so that they can enjoy their company; and if the children go astray, then the parents sacrifice themselves to save them and bring them back to the home, so that the "one big family" may experience happiness, prosperity, and so on for generations without end. But this is really a "tribal" concept, a concept completely conditioned by the ideals of the stage of human evolution at which "life" and its energies dominate almost entirely the consciousness and feeling of man.

Now, however, a higher stage of soul evolution is gradually being reached by at least the vanguard of mankind. Man, in his new-won ability to evoke and handle the tremendous energies locked in the atom, and in his recent dependence upon rigorous thinking and scientific procedures, is demanding of religion — if he accepts at all its validity! — a new picture of the Creative Process. Man's relationship to the creative-transforming energies of the universe must be given a significant and enthusiasm-arousing place in the pattern of universal evolution. It is only if this is really done that ours and future generations will be able to overcome the over-intellectual approach of rationalistic deism, or of a "modern" liberal Christianity which actually confuses spirituality with ethics, and the ego-mind with the "illumined" mind responsive to the slow unfoldment of the "divine soul" within.

The "salvation" needed by the men of our civilization by, for and of the ego, is the renewal of faith in the reality of the divine; for the ego, when faced by its deepest crisis, is in grave danger of giving up the fight toward reaching a vital understanding and gaining a convincing "concrete" experience of what stands beyond itself. The struggle to keep wanting to remain an individual, and yet wanting it in such a way that this individuality can allow itself to be "transfigured" by the downflow of the divine, often leads to the verge of despair or to utter weariness and consequent inertia — a catatonia of the consciousness. Our intellectual elite, particularly in Europe, knows such a danger well; and atheistic Existentialism is no valid solution, no more than was Stoicism in the days of the dying Roman Empire.

The only spiritual solution ultimately valid and effectual is the "incarnation" of "divine souls" who can present to us, at any level at which we may be operating as egos, a concretized image of our future. Man's future state of existence, on earth and not in some transcendent heaven, must be made to appear so real, so intensely desirable, and (relatively) so possible — even if hardships are to be expected along the way — that individual egos will be aroused into taking at least the first steps toward that new status. Only this intense desire, this concretely based faith in the actuality and possibility (for us) of the divine state can overcome, in the most crucial moment of crisis, the utter weariness, despondency and inertia of the ego-mind. And if the divine state cannot be made absolutely more desirable than any and all objects of desire, it must at least be made to appear as the core and ultimate reality to be reached through and beyond the fulfillment of all other desires. The God-man, the Avatar, is a "charmer" of individuals. Like Krishna, he plays his flute and all Nature stands still in wonder and in love. Like Jesus, he calls, and man follows him with rapt consciousness all the way to a liberating death.

At the mental level, thinking man must also be able to contemplate a picture of the universal World-Process and of the Divine which not only makes sense but "charms" him; which draws his fullest and deepest intellectual as well as intuitional assent. Man cannot live significantly and healthfully in an environment which has become to him utterly meaningless and chaotic. He must be able to interpret his world in terms of a kind of order, beauty and harmony which enables him to give a — positive significance and value to where he stands and to the next step he is to take.

The old concepts of Creation, "God's Plan of Salvation", Atonement and the like do not give a positive meaning able to arouse the enthusiasm of the thinking man of today. His belief in those great traditional Images — valid for men at a certain level at all — comes into sharp conflict with all that his ego-mind feels valuable. Indeed, modern man lives in a condition of latent, if not overt, schizophrenia. Thus a new "descent of the divine" is necessary to repotentialize men who are spiritually exhausted and can only think of evading the issue through sensual excitement, playing with ever new gadgets or space-travel.

Such a "descent" may have occurred recently; it may be with us now; or it may be ahead of us. But we shall not experience it — we would not be able to recognize it if confronted with it! — until our ego-mind has become "illumined" by a new sense of values, usually after some harrowing crisis. It is as a help, however small, toward such an "illumination" that the traditional concepts of soul and of the Creation, of sin, evolution and redemption are being questioned here, and that an attempt is being made to reformulate, clarify and whenever possible to "repotentialize" them for the men and women of our traditionally Christian civilization.

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

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