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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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9. CHRIST-LOVE - page 1

The Covenant with Individuals

"To the weak became I as weak that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
I Corinthians 9 : 22

To every individual, and to every civilization as well, there may come a time when the ancestral truth, the basic symbols and the laws which guided their growth become the Old Testament. A New Testament is given form and utterance. The creative Power of the universe is witnessed, is attested, in a new and transforming experience of value and significance, in a new experience of the gradually more total relationship of the Divine to the human. Because this experience is directed to the individual, it must be focused in and through an individual person who stands, individually yet as an "eternal" collective symbol for his race, as the "place of meeting" of the Divine and the human — thus, as "the Son"; Son of God and son of Man in inseparable union. When the Son appears, that which begot him becomes the Father. The Old Tradition, the ancient Record, become as well the "Father".

Indeed, the coming of Jesus gave to the historical-symbolical record of the long evolution of the soul and of God's relationship to this evolution the status of an Old Testament. In this record we see the attempt by the divine creative Power to establish progressively a more intimate, pervasive and steady contact with human nature. Symbolically speaking, this attempt constitutes a kind of premarital courtship between God and human nature; the "woman" loves immaturely and unsteadily, resists and evades the "man" who woos her and seeks to fulfill and transform her. God is "the Beloved"; to Him a Solomon sings rapturous songs. Yet nearly in the same breath the great King seeks diversion in a thousand concubines who bow to "strange gods"; he tries to escape from a destiny of total self-renewal. Yes, Solomon builds a Temple, prodigal in expenditure of energy and pomp; but he does this in very much the same way that a young girl adorns herself sumptuously, spending her patrimony wastefully to emphasize how valuable indeed she is! Could she have faced, in bare desertic beauty and innermost purity, the One she loved, yet dared not fully love, there might not have been a split in the "kingdom" and captivity for the symbolical Israel, the soul of man.

The "simple way" is not, alas, the way of human nature — not in most cases, and not for a long time. Man learns through tragedy and deprivation to let go of the earthliness and fears of his nature and, more important still, of the rigidity and the "stiff-necked and proud" character of his ego. Human nature is indeed loaded, subconsciously if not consciously, with the burden of ghosts of "dark beginnings" — ghosts of fear, of anger and of lust. It reacts to this tragic past and its sense of guilt either by the blatant, angry and lustful rebelliousness which sooner or later brings destruction such as Genesis symbolically records, or else by an emotional and devotional subservience to the words of a God Who manifests Himself at the semi-conscious level of the psychic nature. A compulsion to goodness is just as compulsive as a compulsion to evil. The Divine Marriage within the unafraid, purified and truly individualized, and thus "free", person cannot occur where there is compulsion of any kind. Unconscious compulsion must be replaced by the conscious acceptance of one's individuality, one's "truth of self", one's destiny — with all the beauty and love, all the pain and tragedy that such a destiny inevitably implies.

It is only when the human soul has seen its ego patterns destroyed, its "temple" of obsolete legality and moral taboos razed, rebuilt, and razed again only to be at long last finally scattered to the winds, that the New Testament can really begin. The New makes the Old obsolete, or at least it completely repolarizes and transsubstantiates the contents of the past. The true Son no longer bows down to the Father in an external kind of psychic or legalistic and formalistic subservience; for the true Son has experienced the "power of the Fatherhood" within his heart and his groins. Neither does the true Son in his turn seek to assume the old type of authority associated with the Father in the Old Testament! He now knows of another and "higher" (i.e., freer and more perfect) type of Fatherhood, one which no longer carries any essential character of personification, a universal Fatherhood. This universal Fatherhood is focused, at least potentially, within every human "heart"; that is, at the dynamic and pulsating core of every man's individuality, once this individuality is really awakened and operative.

The tragedy of official Christianity, for all these centuries, is that it has failed to understand the basic distinction between the Father-God of the Old Testament (the Tetragrammaton, the JHVH-Elohim, Jehovah) and the principle of universal Fatherhood of which Jesus spoke constantly. It is true that a personal Father is an expression of this principle of universal Fatherhood, but only a limited, managerial, formalistic and rigorous expression ruling over a race, a people, a group. Such a type of Father in the "old" sense is necessary during the early periods of evolution, when the building process of the soul operates at the stages of the "living soul", then of the most uncertainly and unsteadily individualized soul. But it becomes obsolete, at least in principle, when the complete Marriage of the divine and human occurs in the Son, the Christed Jesus — when Man reaches spiritual maturity.

The obsoleteness of the old Father-Image is unfortunately neither at once understood by most human beings (who remain in actual fact within the "Old Dispensation"), nor practically applicable in terms of the mass-consciousness of humanity, even where Christ is acknowledged in name — most often only in name. Neither the "Laws of Moses" nor the ritual-covenant of Abraham, even if interpreted in a symbolical sense, can be totally replaced by Jesus' single commandment: "Love ye one another as I have loved you." If such a total replacement is attempted by an individual, or even more by a whole society, it comes in most cases as a sudden swing of the pendulum, away from a paternal authority (in the "old" Biblical sense) which had proven enslaving, terrifying or at the very least deeply frustrating.

The kind of "love" which some contemporary American-born Churches preach in the name of Christ is, generally speaking, only a diffuse, vague, emotional-devotional, naively happy kind of love. It lacks focus and a psychological foundation of understanding as to what its source in the person actually is.

Evidently it is far more pleasant and beautiful than the Calvinistic attitude of "fear of God"; yet it still represents a glamorized and largely compulsive, or else largely ineffectual, confused and confusing type of love. It is a "Love ye one another" type of love, a commanded love, deliberately pushing resentments and fears into the unconscious depths of the psyche; it has forgotten the second part of Jesus' request: "as I have loved you." The love of Jesus — the love that is, in its Principle, Christ — is a focused love. It does not bask in the sun of sweet generalities and verbal incense. It is focused upon any and all personal situations; it supplies to each what each precisely needs. The basic message of the Gospels is that there can be a complete Incarnation of the Divine in a man — in any human being. Incarnation means a total descent of the Divine, an utterly focused descent; for only thus can it be totally effectual, healing and "redeeming".

The proof of this "Christed" love is its power to heal the soul — and at least to some extent the body if no irreparable, structurally physiological damage has been done. It is as well its ability to redeem the memories and "ghosts" resulting from the past. Which past? The past which has produced experiences of fear, terror, pain or deprivation because of the tragedies resulting from the childish misunderstanding and the misapplication or perversion of the "old" type of Father-authority. And by such Father-authority I mean the power of society and tradition, of rigid legality and collective taboos, of religious fears and dogmas — as well as whatever may have gone wrong in the actual father-child relationship in youth.

This is not to be understood as a defense of some kind of "spiritual anarchy". In the love of the Son there is order, principle (arche). The Fatherhood operates as powerfully as in the "old Father-Image" sense; but it operates from within. It operates under the one "Law" of the universe — i.e., according to the very nature of spirit upon which all existence rests — the principle of answer to need. But, and this is the essential point, this answer, if it is to be truly spiritual, must be an individualized and focused answer to an individual need. Spirit is not a vague power diffuse in the universe, even though it be everywhere manifest; it is focused everywhere; it is focused in the precise manner in which its operation can be most effectual; it is focused through an individual person in an act of Incarnation. Only so can there be healing and redemption of sins (these ghostly presences in a guilt-laden, terrified soul!). Only so can a person truly act "in the Name of Christ". All else refers to half-measures and vague attempts largely founded upon glamor, self-deception, or an immature attempt to compensate for psychic darkness, just as an aggressive attitude usually compensates for a deep sense of inferiority.

In the "patriarchal" old order, law and morality, social and cultural patterns, rules and regulations, are external to the individual; they bind him as a part of a social or religious collectivity. They envelop and clothe him; he is enfolded by them and, relatively at least, quite helpless against this collective pressure which always seeks to mould him, forcibly or by subtle psychological means. The old organized religions are actually but transcendentalized social organisms adding "divine sanctions" to a tradition or a collective expectation. But it seems clear that Jesus did not seek to built a new religious organization; at best he envisioned small groups of men enkindled by a new faith and a new vision as leaven to lighten up the social processes. These leavening groups (ekklesia, in the true, original sense of the word) were meant to spread a contagious fervor, a burning desire for self-liberation within a decaying social order with which Jesus wanted to have nothing to do. He certainly repudiated any claim to leadership in terms of social or political reorganization.

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

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