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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 4

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 Way and the Life

The way of the New Covenant begins, at least as far as man's present-day consciousness goes, with the Annunciation to Mary. Mary represents "human nature" in a condition of complete openness to God and of readiness to serve God's purpose for humanity. This purpose is revealed to her, and likewise her part in it. The revealer is the "Angel sent from God", Gabriel, who in occult tradition is the Angel of the planet Mercury — Mercury being, in astrological symbolism, the conscious mind, the messenger of the gods. Mercury, in India, was associated with Buddha; and it has been said that an aspect of Jesus' inner nature was directly inherited from Gautama, the Buddha — a statement which at any rate quite accurately defines the historical-psychological relationship between Buddhism and Christianity.

The Angel Gabriel, as the revealer of the power and initiative of the divine spirit, is the "higher mind" of man, that aspect of man's mind which is not an evolutionary product of earth-nature but instead an involutionary expression of the formative power of the divine creative Word — the Universal Mind. The Annunciation thus represents a first step in human-divine integration at the level of the mind. The realization in conscious mind precedes the act of divine impregnation. And this is the only "human" way; for man is a conscious agent and nothing ever happens to him spiritually that he is not able to imagine or conceptually envision. This does not mean that he can know the exact working out of the life-process; the Angel's explanation to Mary certainly leaves a great deal unsaid! (Luke 1) Yet it contains the type of statements which, considering Mary's background, were sufficient and necessary to orient her expectancy and polarize her wondering intellect in the direction of the divine act about to be performed and of the divine purpose of that act. The type of power at work if defined, and the result to be expected outlined.

It is very important to note, however, that the Angel in conveying the meaning of the act to be performed by God has to use the type of thought-imagery already in Mary's mind; otherwise he would not be understood and he would only confuse her. He announces to Mary that Jesus shall be given "the throne of his father David," that "he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever", and so on — statements which, in view of what happened to Jesus, can be considered true at best in a symbolic form. However Mary could only think of kingdom, of reign and spirit according to the old Jewish approach. God and the higher mind (the Angel) had to meet her at her own level of evolution, as the best type of "human nature" available at the time for the purpose in view.

What is envisioned in the mind organizes itself into concrete physical actuality. This is the process of gestation — mental-spiritual or biological, as the case may be. But the process is both unfamiliar and long, and God grants the wondering soul confirmations — what the medieval Alchemist called "signatures". Thus Mary (according to Luke) obtains confirmation from Elizabeth, who was then about to become the mother of John, the Herald. This is the old principle that "great dreams", dreamt by an individual and implying a message from the gods, are not to be believed unless someone else in the tribe or community either has a similar dream or confirms the message by some unexpected token or "signature".

The birth of Jesus is surrounded by very significant event-symbols. It occurs as he who acts as his physical father, Joseph, goes to pay his taxes to Caesar in the ancestral town of the line of David, Bethlehem. This sets the historical and racial background for the event — the subservience of the old tribal Jewish world to the "universal empire" of Rome. Two worlds are in conflict; two cycles have met. The Roman empire is the matrix of the cycle of human evolution in which mankind is to realize itself as a global organism, as the "dissonant harmony" of the several basic races of men. Symbolically, the divided progeny of Noah is to reintegrate its immensely diversified units into a global Federation which should polarize on earth the Divine Company of all those individuals who have felt, envisioned, realized and enacted in their ritual-lives — consummations of a long process — that love which is Christhood.

The visit of the Kings, Magi from the East, symbolizes the interaction of a closing cycle in its most perfect expression and of the new cycle in its beginnings. Later on we will also see how John the Baptist, the seed-end of the Hebraic order, transfers his power to Jesus, in whom the New Order begins. But this baptismal rite deals with a personal interplay in terms of the local setting of Jesus' life; whereas the Magi represent the culmination of all mankind up to the Christ-Incarnation. The event has a universalistic meaning. The Magi come from the East, the Roman empire conquered from the West. In the Birth the old East and the blatant West meet — the East, to worship; the West, to reject and crucify.

Indeed the Christ-birth is a great moment in human history; but it is as well the Supreme Moment in every Soul's cyclic process of perfect actualization in and through the Divine Marriage. Yet there may be many a potential Jesus who, because he could not face the Crucifixion, did not experience the Resurrection.

After a long period of obscure development — obscure because it refers to the strictly personal process of development of the individual out of the racial womb — Jesus is shown meeting John, asking of him to be baptized. Jesus is then 30 years old. Thirty years constitute a complete revolution of the planet Saturn which, in astrological symbolism, represents both the "Father-Image" and the ego which gives structure and direction to the individual psyche. After the completion of this 30-year cycle of Saturn, Jesus' individual selfhood has reached full maturity and is ready to become repolarized. It is repolarized by the descent and incorporation of the Holy Spirit as a dove, while the voice of God is heard saying: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Besides Jesus, only John the Initiator hears this voice of God; and he hears it because, by this declaration of God, he is made to know that his own time and mission are practically ended.

John closes the Hebraic cycle of prophethood during which men, who were selected by the Father-God to perform a mission for their tribal society, were "seized" by the spirit and made to utter prophetic utterances. Jesus, on the other hand, opens the new cycle in which individuals, after having become true exemplars of the divine archetype, Man — i.e., sons of Man — are able to experience the Divine Marriage within; men therefore who are no longer mouthpieces for the God of "life" (the Father that integrates by ruling and managing) but individuals consubstantial with and sons of God Who is love — the universal God. The Adamic cycle of tribal mankind opened as "Jehovah" breathed into Adam's nostrils the "souls of life" (Nephesh Hayyah); it closes, potentially at least, when the Dove of Spirit animates the total personality of Jesus with the "universal Soul" (the Shekinah, the Holy Spirit).

Yet even the Baptism is not be considered as a final consummation. It is the threshold that links the Old Order with the New, the particular with the universal. Jesus receives the universal power of the Fatherhood; but to receive power from the Divine is not to be united with the Divine. Before the "Marriage" can take place, Jesus must prove, to himself and to God, his ability to use this power in utter purity, faith and effectiveness. His innermost motives are being "tested" and he has to overcome three basic temptations. These temptations are produced (1) by a personal hunger for the spirit ("bread"), (2) by the desire for spiritual prestige (the ability to easily win a following by displaying miraculous powers) and (3) by the tendency to confuse levels of power and to materialize the spiritual into the strictly personal, the organic or the social.

Then Jesus enters the way of the miraculous, the way in which new potentialities emerge at his creative touch or utterance into actuality. And the first "miracle" fittingly is the transmutation of water into wine in Cana. It is significant because it occurs at a marriage feast. In this lived parable we see human love about to reach fulfillment in the natural way of life-propagation according to social custom; but something is missing. The celebration falls short of potential "ecstasy". Jesus blesses the common substance of that love (the mere "water" of socialized human emotion) and lo! it becomes "wine", symbol of all mystical communions — wine which represents the capacity in man to transcend his ego-fears, his rigid sense of and subservience to social conventions and social distinctions. To add more meaning to the miracle, it is made at the implied request of Jesus' mother. He chides her for making the suggestion — "Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come." (John 2:4) — but nevertheless performs the miracle.

Why does Mary, the mother, make the request? Because she is the most perfect manifestation of human nature as such, and she has been touched by the ecstasy of divine fecundation. Her heart aches seeing the banality and conventionality of human married love, and she calls upon the Divine to bless this human love with the freedom, lightness and transcending joy that the symbolical "wine" provides. And when Jesus answers her: "Mine hour is not yet come", he no doubt envisions the Last Supper when this wine that nature offers to man will in turn be transmuted into his own blood. In that ultimate hour Jesus will empty his heart into the vessels of all human hearts, so that bereft of everything, betrayed and scourged, he may meet the supreme crisis which leads the victorious to rebirth in an organism of divine light. Water, wine, Christ-blood, divine light: the four hypostases of the one Supreme Power within, through and enfolding all existence — Love.

Another significant episode in the early phase of Jesus' public life which seems not to have been given sufficient importance and adequate depth of meaning is his encounter with the woman of Samaria at Jacob's well, at "the sixth hour" — six being, as we already saw, the number of the soul. Jesus was wearied and he asked of the woman: "Give me to drink"; and an extraordinary dialogue follows (John 4).

One recalls the equally not fully understood episode in the Buddha's life when, having tried for years to follow all the severest practices of yoga, emaciated and faint with hunger, Gautama asks a milkmaid passing by for some milk to drink. A beautiful conversation ensues as Gautama questions the maiden. Revived by her gift of milk and brought back, as it were, to the most basic and simple wisdom of earth-nature, Gautama sits under the famous Bodhi tree and after long hours of meditation and inner trials he reaches the perfect peace of understanding, the Nirvana state. Would he have reached it without the maiden's milk and her simple words — symbols no doubt of some deep and fundamental interchange of truths and energies?

It is often said by liberal ministers that Jesus never claimed that he was the Messiah. But he did, almost at the very start of his public life! And to whom? To a woman who was living with her sixth lover, a woman of a people with whom no orthodox Jew would have had dealings (John 4 : 9). To her, thus doubly impure (personally and racially), Jesus reveals his identity: "I that speak unto thee am he (the Messiah)" (John 4 : 26). Why did Jesus tell the Samaritan woman his essential "Truth of self?" Why to her before anyone else, his disciples included — and at Jacob's well?

It may be best not to inquire too deeply into the mystery, for such an inquiry presumably must be left to the individual who faces the need for a solution to his own deepest problem; yet this episode and the one in Buddha's life evidently refer to some deep polarization of consciousness in which these two great divine personages require the presence of two simple women of "lower" (in a traditional sense) social order. Jesus' and Gautama's messages and destinies greatly differ, and so do the characters of the two women protagonists. In the case of Jesus, healer and redeemer, it is no doubt significant that he should declare himself to one who had greatly "sinned" according to the moral law, yet who elicited from him no rebuke but instead a teaching of the deepest character — indeed his central and new teaching concerning the universal Divine! "The hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father . . . when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." John 4:21 to 24. (emphasis mine).

The "miracles" of Jesus could all be analyzed and interpreted afresh; and most of his utterances, if not taken literally and allowing at times for probable mistranslation and latterday additions, can give clues to the process according to which the individual person himself becomes the New Covenant which is one, yet many. The covenant must be written afresh in the language of every person's individual selfhood because it is a covenant in spirit — as the nature of the universal Divine is spirit — and all that is of spirit is always focused to meet the particular need of a particular individual. Yet all these "individualized" covenants constitute but one covenant for they all formulate the same principle of the "Marriage" of the Divine and the human, whose "progeny" is the "divine soul", the "Christ-child" within the heart.

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

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