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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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"God becomes as we are, so that we may be as He is."
William Blake — There is no Natural Religion; 1788

The Covenant with the Kings

The covenant which God enters into with David, as King of a united Israel, brings to a further degree of concreteness and substantiality the involvement of the divine consciousness and power with the human soul. The 12 tribes of Israel under David have become a nation. National integration is established as a principle of human organization which parallels personality integration at the individual level. This new type of integration supersedes the more strictly biological and instinctual type of tribal order; it is founded upon two factors: a human King, and God's Temple.

The dualistic concept of King and Temple replaces the purely theocratic principle embodied in the Mosaic Covenant, a principle which makes of God the sole focus of the power of integration. Until Saul comes, Jehovah is officially the one and sole ruler of Israel, His will expressing itself through especially responsive men and special Prophets. But while Saul and David are still inwardly subservient to Jehovah — except on some occasions! — and accept admonishment from the Prophets, they are, as Kings, the visible focus of the integrative focus of the national life. God, on the other hand, is "established in His house", the Temple, which Solomon, son of David, finally constructs. At the level of personality unfoldment these three Kings of Israel symbolize three stages of growth at which the "individual soul" officially is accepted by the ego as the "inner Ruler", the Will. Yet in three different but symbolically characteristic ways, the three stages are at least relative failures. Even the building of the Temple by Solomon reflects his love for pomp and show; so that this "spiritual achievement" of the individualized person also has its shadow!

This contrast between a dual principle of integration and the unitarian principle of a true "theocracy" is repeated in the Christian era — and, in a very real sense indeed, at the present time. As the Roman Empire breaks down into a Western and an Eastern realm, the West accepts the dual principle — the Emperor and the Pope; while in the Byzantine East, the secular and the sacred spheres are united in the person of the Emperor as sole Ruler. Today the division between the Executive and the Legislative branches of the government is a modern democratic reembodiment of the dualistic principle, which even becomes a trinitarian principle with the establishment of a more or less independent Judiciary — and, in America, back of the three stand the Constitution and the People.

In Communist countries, by contrast, a unitarian principle of rulership is accepted — in fact, if not in theory; and in a sense this constitutes a kind of materialistic "theocracy", for Communism has indeed all the earmarks of a "religious" movement even though it be a religion of no-religion. It is religion in its purely negative aspect — which may well reach its extreme of manifestation in China.

The change from the wandering Ark of the Covenant, housed in a tent, to a solid and sumptuous Temple is deeply symbolical. God has become "established" in the collective substance of humanity — and the "individual soul" in the human mind which the ego has structured. But this establishment is actually most precarious, because of the folly of kings and the old jealousies that divide tribes — and, in the individual person, because of the still powerful pull of the instinctual urges and the inertia of ego-structures (complexes").

The Kingdom is hardly established when, at Solomon's death, it breaks in two. Likewise the "individual soul" of man is constantly menaced by overt or subtle forms of schizophrenia. The mind always tends to be pulled by opposite forces, simply because it stands "in the middle" — a "firmament" which usually is not at all firm! The individual is a process; or, as St. Exupery beautifully wrote in his book Flight to Arras: "The individual is a path. 'Man' only matters who takes that path." In this sense "Man" is the Temple of God, the multi-une consummation of the cycle of humanity which began with the divine Word, the Logos. This multi-une consummation is the one Brotherhood of the "sons of God", of the men "made perfect", i.e., "Christed".

Alas, the glory and magnificence of the physical temple — which should be only a focus for the gradual actualization of the spiritual energies of the "divine soul" (the "son of David", Jesus) — are substituted for the pure simplicity of the real Temple "not made with hands". Kingly power leads to pomp and costly extravagance, and to unrestrained desire for women. David kills a husband in order to satisfy his desire for the man's wife; Solomon surrounds himself with many foreign princesses who bring to the Kingdom "strange gods". And gradually these gods sap the integrated structure of the Kingdom. Once more the "one God" is at least partially forgotten, and when this happens the unity of the Kingdom is overcome by duality.

This leitmotiv of "the one" which becomes "two" recurs constantly through the Biblical narrative. As long as the coercive force of the integration which manifests as "life" operates, one of the "two" carries the standard of the divine purpose, however hesitantly or spasmodically. One of the sons betrays, another serves God; the Cain-Abel dualism is inevitable and somehow balanced; both lines contribute, in ways often mysterious, to the final purpose. But when the Kingdom of David and Solomon breaks in two, both of the separated halves are fairly soon destroyed and led into captivity. However, while the captives from the Southern Kingdom of Judah returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the Temple, the tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel seem to have vanished from history. They constitute the "Lost Tribes" about the fate of which so many ideas have been held — including that which makes them the ancestors of at least some of the people of the British Isles whereto (a certain tradition claims) Jesus journeyed at a later date and founded his first "Church"!?

The captivity in Babylon in a sense repeats the theme of the years of bondage in Egypt. Daniel in Babylon becomes as powerful a personage, or a more powerful one (because of the successive rulers which this region had in his days) than Joseph in Egypt, demonstrating symbolically that even in periods of captivity the soul may still inspire the fallen personality, and contact with the divine is not lost. It is not lost because God has "come-together" with man; because He made with man an "indestructible covenant".

Because of His covenant with Abraham, God raises Moses in due time from the state of enslavement experienced by the Israelites in Egypt. His covenant with David leads, after many vicissitudes and crises, and through a transcendent change of level, to the appearance of Jesus, who is called "son of David". Jesus establishes the foundations for the "Kingdom of Heaven" and proclaims the New Covenant. Of this New Covenant the Christ-transfigured Jesus is the seal, and the Last Supper the symbolic rite.

Jesus-Christ, human yet divine, is indeed the New Covenant, In him God not only comes-together with man; He becomes Man. Jesus-Christ — as the Way, the Truth and the Life; as "the First" of the sons of Man to become transfigured into a son of God — is the prototype of the long series of individualized souls who, after heaving experienced the Transfiguration, will become "divine souls". He is the "beginning of the end", because the ultimate end (the omega) of the cycle of Man is the Brotherhood of the Sons of God, the multi-une fulfillment of the divine potential which, at the beginning of the cycle (the alpha), was Christ, as the Logos, the One.

What the Christianity which we know historically, and which still today rules the lives of half a billion people, has done with the Way, the Truth and the Life exemplified by Jesus is another story — a tragic one! But the previous covenants between God and man recorded in the Biblical narrative certainly did not lead to a steady transformation of mankind either! Each stage of the evolution of the soul has its characteristic failures or its shadow. Jesus-Christ, as the New Covenant himself, has likewise not brought to men actual peace — outer or inner. But the process has been started; and it goes on, even under the menace of atomic bombs. Previous covenants led, after a few centuries, to captivity and bondage. What will happen to man after nearly two thousand years of betrayal of the Christ-Covenant, even though the betrayal has been in the name of Christ, who would dare prophesy! All that we can do is to try understand, at the core of our mind-consciousness and under the illumination of our flickering soul's light, the meaning of this New Covenant and of the God-man in whom the Divine forever fecundates and transfigures the human in an eternal, because ever-renewed "marriage".

Such an understanding can only come to the individual who is acting, thinking and feeling as an individual. The New Covenant is a covenant strictly with individuals. There is in it no direct social or collective message. The Christ-call strikes at the very heart or root of the individual's selfhood. It is a call to awakening — a call that proclaims: "Be ye separate!" Everything that is not of the individual is to be left behind — "Take up your cross and follow me." Complete individualization is indeed the Cross which any true "disciple of Christ" must carry, on to the very Mount of Skull where "death" is overcome in the very acceptance of the new step beyond, the step that leads the "individual soul" to the realm of the Divine.

The New Covenant may be symbolized by the Cross, as Christianity has so passionately and darkly believed. But the Cross should be understood and experienced as a symbol of movement, of inner dynamism, of the tremendous unrest and divine discontent which are the inevitable conditions for that attainment . . . forever unattainable, for he who attains has ceased to be what he was! To awaken, to arise, to walk on — these are the terms of this Christ-covenant with individuals. The "Way" of Christ is to live, with a new quality of livingness; it is to love, with a new quality of love; it is to die, with a new quality of surrender. It is Motion, always — perpetual going on . . . through every comfortable conformism and specious happiness, through family attachments, social respectability, intellectual dogmas, traditional feelings and collective worship; indeed through oneself and one's name of birth — always going on, through moments seen as cycles and cycles as eonic moments, always, always . . . and yet with peace, peace profound, within the going on; for in that going on there is rhythm, there is balance, all extremes meet. And in their meeting — only in their meeting! — love, beauty, joy, divinity are real. And in this reality alone, God is . . . God is "We".

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

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