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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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"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end."
Rev. 21 : 6

Human Evolution and the Lord God

The Ruler of all that deals with the evolutionary effort is God, but God in His particular role as Lord of the integrative agencies and activities of that sphere, "the Lord God". In this aspect God appears for the first time in Genesis 2:4, but His full revelation will come only to Moses as He declares Himself in His highest character as I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3 : 14).

The expression "Lord God" translates the Hebrew "JHVH Elohim". The four-letter word JHVH has been considered the most sacred name of God by the Hebrews and unutterable. It has been transliterated in English as Jehovah, or more recently as Yahweh. But it is essentially the "Tetragrammaton" (from tetra, meaning four), a most significant grouping of one plus three letters — Jod and He-Vau-He. The significance of the word resides primarily in the number 4 (the square or cube) which represents the Foundation Stone and all such symbols of concrete integration in and through matter.

The other important fact is that the bracketing together of JHVH with Elohim seemingly is meant to indicate that JHVH is one of the Elohim. We might perhaps say that the Tetragrammaton represents the fourth aspect of God, the God who is the divine Principle of personalization; thus, the I AM THAT I AM. It is because JHVH, Jehovah, is the divine Principle of personalization that He has been passionately worshipped as a "personal God". But there is a great difference between a "personal God" and God presenting Himself as the Principle of Personality, the I AM!

Indeed, to say that God displays the attributes of the essence or soul of personality in coming to man's assistance is not the same thing as believing implicitly in a "personal God"! The distinction may appear highly metaphysical; yet it defines abstractly two approaches to God. And whether one or the other of these approaches is taken by man is a matter with most profound and most practical consequences.

However this may be, with the fourth verse of the second chapter of Genesis the whole trend of God's activity changes. The Lord God forms man of the dust of the ground, breathes into his nostrils the breath of life; and man becomes a living soul (Genesis 2:7). From then on the soul is the central figure of the Biblical drama; the evolution of the soul is the plot. The problem for the soul is to rise above the gravitational pull of materiality by controlling, instead of being controlled by, the "breath of life" (i.e., the rhythmic and repetitive energies of man's living organism — instincts, desires, passions, etc.). All human history, as well as the Biblical narrative, shows clearly how difficult this task is. The basic difficulty resides in the opposition between the soul's essence, which is derived from the unity of God, and the inherent characteristics of the materials drawn into the living organism of which the "living soul" is the integrative core. Matter is inert and therefore resists change. Yet the one purpose of Creation is to produce souls that can change matter. Life, as integrating energy, compels material particles to move rhythmically in relation to one another and to function as integral parts of one organic whole. And because matter resists the power of life and always tends to return to its inert and neutral state (the trend today called "entropy"), life must compel. It works through compulsive rhythms repeated time and time again; and the body of matter obeys, yet obeys in the unconsciousness of instinct.

The "living soul" must have the characteristics of all life-activity, for it is the very core or focus of this activity. As already stated, the "living soul" as an agency of linkage between God and matter is turned, as it were, both ways. The soul's "intuitions" reflect the divine nature of the Lord, JHVH — a passive reflection. But the "instincts" involve the soul in the activities of material cells and organs. Blinded and pulled centrifugally by the repetitive whirlings of life-cycles which churn matter in order to liberate the energy locked in the inert core of the atoms, the "living soul" tends to be drawn away from its central "place" and to lose its integrity, its God-reflecting "form" and character. The soul thus faces a twofold problem. If it is eventually to become a positive and dynamic agent carrying out God's work and fulfilling the Plan of Creation "imagined" by Elohim, the "living soul" must become an active and conscious individual established in his own selfhood and identity, stating (by deeds, rather than in mere words!) "I am". This means that the "living soul" must cease to be a passive reflection of the Lord, somewhat as the child of today must become a mature youth, free from imitating his parents' behavior, free from father or mother complexes. On the other hand, the "living soul" has to fight a constant battle against the gravitational pull of materiality and self-division, and against the repetitive, compulsive moods and sensations associated with the fulfillment of the life-instincts. This fulfillment is necessary for the continued functioning of the body; and the soul, as long as it is only a "living soul", cannot even think of denying it.

This twofold problem involves such difficulties that the evolution of the soul is a long story of failures mixed with a few successes. And it is this story which the Biblical narrative relates, from the formation of Adam in Eden to the Transfiguration of Jesus.

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

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