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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 3

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

The Christ Covenant

All coming-together of God and man in the Old Dispensation were directed toward the establishment and start of some collective process, as we saw previously. Noah and his Ark were the prototypes of the new humanity, indeed of all earthly life, after the Deluge. Abraham was to be the fountainhead of a people related to a particular land. Moses was the Liberator and Father of that people after their "fall" into material consciousness (Egypt). David stood for Israel, as a national whole. But Jesus is every man, you and I, once we establish ourselves truly and steadily in our own individual identity; for it is only in that state that we can receive the love that transfigures the integrated human whole into a conscious agent for the action of spirit anywhere and whenever needed.

Anywhere and whenever needed! That is the challenge of this new covenant with any and all individuals, effective in any place and at any time. And in this we find the basic distinction between the Old and the New. It is the distinction, which I have previously mentioned (cf. 2), between "life" and "love". The old religions were and remain religions of life; but Christ is the fountainhead, in the Western World at least, of the gospel of love. "Life" refers to a type of organic integration which is always to some extent adjusted to a set of particular conditions in space and time; it operates at a certain place and under seasonal conditions. Life can "adapt" itself to some degree of change, but actually the possible variations of temperature, climate and environment to which any living organism can satisfactorily adapt itself are very small considering the immense range of possibilities in the universe.

By contrast, divine love is a truly universal power. It can operate anywhere and at any time. It energizes and guides a type of integration which differs essentially from that which operates as "life". Life operates on the principle of exclusion; it accepts only for integration that which is like its original substance, that which vibrates in consonant harmony with its own initial rhythm. Love, in the divine sense, is all-inclusive; it chords dissimilarities into a dissonant harmony within which the differences of the integrated units each contribute to the resonance and power of the whole. Life begins in unity; for even the two original cells, male and female, have become one when the cycle of life begins within what has become a "closed" organic unit, the fecundated ovum. Divine love begins in the confrontation with the state of plurality and diversity. When Christ-love comes, it does not address itself to one selected person but to all persons whose need "cries out" for healing and redemption; yet it gives itself wholly and unreservedly to each in a spontaneous yet focused giving of self — different though each may be.

Christ-love comes to heal and redeem; and without the healing of what now actually is and the redemption of what has been, the ideal which "spiritual people" today like so much to call "liberation" is inevitably a glamorous illusion. But "healing the sick" does not essentially mean removing the outer symptoms of disease — though these symptoms may also disappear if the past, too, is totally "redeemed" and the structural damage is not beyond "economical" repair — yes, repair in terms of "economy" within the whole process of soul-evolution. Healing the sick means fundamentally restoring to the afflicted the consciousness of wholesome participation in the process of human evolution — a consciousness which a person loses, to some degree at least, when he becomes "in-validated" by illness; that is, when he is deprived of acting in the fullness of his capacity and value as a human being.

In this sense "sin" is an illness, if not in itself, at least in its inevitable consequence (delayed though it be): a sense of guilt. Guilt deprives a person of the full capacity to share wholesomely with others and lowers his or her value, or validity, as does sickness. And sickness is, in many instances, the secondary result of an unwillingness to share in the life — and the love — of the human community, visible or invisible. A person may refuse, or shrink in fear from, the sharing of life and love; and if there are no other convenient means to express this perhaps subconscious refusal, illness may be invoked by the frightened or too weary ego. It is invoked as a shield for this person's egocentricity, for his craving not to participate and not to share, even if parts of the person's nature tragically long for companionship and for love.

Such a condition always has its roots in an unredeemed past of hurt, anguish and perhaps inner despair or unbearable psychic exhaustion. Today "depth-psychology" seeks to reach such psychic roots and to remove from the unconscious depths of the psyche the areas of decay which may at times flare up in outer symptoms, often utterly baffling to the conventional medical man. The only proof of healing is, however, the restoration to the afflicted person of the willingness and the freedom to participate and to share.

But to participate in what, and to share what? That is the great question to which modern psychiatry gives a generally ineffectual and indeed essentially meaningless answer — worse than which is only the attitude of those American-born Churches which "deny" illness, and by calling it an "error" add a deeper, less recognizable sense of intellectual guilt to the original cause of the condition. In most cases these causes are simply forced back into the unconscious by a more strongly solidified and self-satisfied ego!

To most psychiatrists — for practical reasons no doubt, even more perhaps than for theoretical ones — a mentally ill person is pronounced cured when he or she is able to return home and somehow "get along", get a job, and so on. This is called "social adjustment". But the ridiculous thing is that it was the social or family environment, to which the "cured" person will return, which in the first place set the stage for and conditioned the illness — if it did not directly cause it. Somehow the shock of having been ill is supposed to have taught the now "cured" person how to "adjust" to this very environment in the activities of which he or she could not desire to participate and whose quality of consciousness and feelings he or she rebelled against sharing.

Yet it may well have been this person's "individual Soul" that refused such a participation and sharing because the quality of the life or the love in that environment was of too low a level, was too binding — binding with chains forged by the deviation and misdeeds of the "Old Order". It may be that sin and disease were the only means available to the person to become "separate" from the mass-mind and to repudiate, fumblingly and tragically though it be, a social or parental conformism which stood against the normal drive toward "individualization", toward actualizing the inborn potential of that person's individual selfhood. So the person became ill, physically or mentally; ill because he or she yearned at the core of his or her being to be truly an "individual" able to share with and to love other free individuals. What may have been a twisted and confused attempt at soul-growth is interpreted by the medical man and by society at large as a sad failure of character, if not a terrible shame. Beaten down by drugs or mental pressures the patient returns, officially "cured"; but this may well mean that the soul has lost its fight.

To be ill in vain: this is the only tragedy! To pass through a drastic crisis and not experience rebirth at a level of the "New Order" or at least on the way toward it: this indeed adds to the burden of unredeemed past. The horror of our recent World Wars is not so much that brutality was let loose on an unprecedented scale, or that so many people died, but that mankind seems to have profited so little from the devastating experiences of suffering and uprooting which tortured men, women, children — in vain perhaps. To break down while learning is of little importance compared to not learning from that breakdown. The pains and tragedies of human love deepen and renew the soul that thereafter understands pain and tragedy, and as a result is able and willing to love "as" Christ loved the sinner and the sick.

To realize the meaning of all this in the very marrow of one's bones (builders of red blood and symbol of the ego), to experience in intensity of feeling the first hesitant dawn of Christ-love even though this love challenges the traditional patterns of social conventions — as Jesus repeatedly challenged them — this implies a total reorientation of the sense of human relationship. It demands a repolarization not only of the possessive and compulsive patterns of instinctual love, but also of the imprecise and diffuse desire to love everyone and everything so that everybody will be happy and bask in the sunshine of divine goodness and abundance.

Jesus said: "I came not to send peace, but a sword" — or division. He said: "Take up your cross, and follow me." Indeed the Covenant which he was underlines at every step the acceptance of the Cross. There must be crucifixion; there must be catharsis; and first of all there must be tests and ordeals in the loneliness of "the desert". Man can only be free when he has serenely accepted to be bound in an heroic allegiance to the New Order. Man can only experience Christ-love when he has seen possessiveness, jealousy, ambition and fear eaten away from his "living soul" and his ever-insecure ego by the acid of suffering or the caustic lye of the "great doubt". The Christ-covenant is written in blood; yet it is a song of joy and of peace, intoned by the emptied heart and the chastened soul. And just as warm red blood is the "signature" of the potentiality for unfoldment of the "individual soul", so the willing surrender of blood is the efficacious symbol of the readiness to participate in the companionship of the disciples of Christ. In this sacred Company the "I" is transfigured by the "We" in which all those who accept the responsibility of divine Sonship, even in its earliest stages of expression, share. And in that sharing there is beauty and there is peace, and the fire of suffering radiates the light of understanding and love divine. THROUGH FIRE UNTO LIGHTPer ignem ad lucem.

The life of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels is a symbolic ritual, a mythos, objectifying and impersonating every step of this Christ Covenant, the Covenant written in the heart and soul of every man in whom the fire of individual selfhood longs for transmutation into the light of Christ-love.

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

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