A History and Commentary on the Tree of Life

Part 3

And this was their appearance; they had

the likeness of a Man…(Ezekiel 1:5; Acts

13:38-41; Revelation 1:17,18…KJV).

(Please read Gershom Scholem’s The Mystical Shape of the Godhead).

Jesus said, “Whoever has come to understand the world has found a corpse. And whoever has found a corpse is superior to the world…” (Gospel of Thomas, saying 56).

The Mystery of God was revealed to the world (in the Christian story of initiation) in the form of a corpse, for the very simple, but highly spiritual reason that every spiritual soul must experience the “death” of Christ. It is the “first death,” the death of the old nature, the old logic, and the old, literal ways of interpreting scripture and history. Those who have died this first death no longer contend about words and their meanings, knowing how it is the effect-achieved and not the words-used that determine the character of the soul. For, at last, we shall discover that love, indeed, is the fulfillment of the Law. Words convey, but it is the soul that is conveyed.. Dying with the Buddha we achieve the point of nothingness, a clean slate, the extermination of “my own self.” Thus Paul says: I am crucified unto the world and the world is crucified unto me. And then awakening in Christ we come alive to a whole new world of many spiritual dimensions, a world of higher meanings, a world of seven heavens, and ten, and to a state of universal God-consciousness. Those who have died this first death can never be impeded by the “second death,” the death of the body itself. To these the Doorway to eternity is opened. Love is the key.

Thus, to the dimensions of the Tree of Life we add the visage of the Cosmic Man, the Universal archetype, the Adam Kademon of the Kabbalists, the Angel of God’s Presence (paradoxically, the very God of War himself, of whom we have much more to say in the following chapters…Exodus 23:20-32; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10…KJV), whose own form fills the universe, and in whose invisible cosmic form our own human bodies are created. We will not see an individual being in the physical sense embodied there, but rather the principles, the forces and dimensions of Creation, indeed, the very Mind of God itself, descending into nature, and then to the earth to take up residence in human form. Neither must we imagine the countenance of any one race of humanity, for the Angel of Presence resides equally in every race, every land, and in every individual. But rather, let us see it in terms of the eternally unchanging pattern which Philo Judaeus speaks of in his On The Creation, which God (whether out of necessity or creative self-will, others may argue), both consulted and conformed to in Their descent, and of which Plato refers to in his Timaeus:

“To discover the maker and father of this universe is indeed a hard task (1 Timothy 3:16), and having found him it would be impossible to tell everyone about him. Let us return to our question, and ask, which pattern did its constructor work: that which remains the same and unchanging, or that which has come to be? (the Arian controversy)… So let us assume that it resembles as nearly as possible that of which all other beings individually and generically are parts, and which comprises in itself all intelligible beings, just as this world contains ourselves and all visible creatures. For god’s purpose was to use as his model the highest and most completely perfect of intelligible things, and so he created a single visible living being, containing within itself all living beings of the same natural order.” Plato’s Timaeus.

In the beginning was the Word (the Logos)…(John 1:1-14; Ephesians 1:17-23…KJV).

We want to realize that the Mystery of Christ is both larger and older than Christianity itself. But before this we must pay homage to the Divine Mother, and consider Her Holy Presence, as we shall throughout the following chapters of this work. Without Her we cannot begin to comprehend the principles of Creation. She is before them all. She and the Father are One. She has concealed Herself, as we shall come to see, for very specific historical reasons, indeed, in the very interest of the process of Creation itself (She is Creation). But She has always revealed Herself to the wise, and to those who have overcome the literary devices that She Herself has devised. Where is She? She is everywhere. She is the Holy Spirit of God. She has many forms:

Wisdom crieth without; She uttereth Her voice in the streets:

She crieth in the chief places of concourse, in the opening of the gates: In the city She uttereth Her words, saying:

How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

Turn ye at my reproof: behold I will pour out MY SPIRIT unto you, I will make known my words unto you… (Proverbs 1:20-23).

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Happy is the man that findeth Wisdom, and the man that getteth Understanding.

For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold…

Length of days is in Her right hand, and in Her left hand riches and honour.

Her ways are the ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace.

SHE IS A TREE OF LIFE to them that lay hold upon Her: and happy is everyone that retaineth Her.

The Lord by Wisdom hath founded the earth; by Understanding hath He established the heavens… (Proverbs 3:113-19).

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The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old.

I was set up from everlasting,, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

When there was no depths, I was brought forth; when there was no fountains abounding with water.

Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth.

While as yet He had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the earth.

When He prepared the heavens I was there; when He set a compass upon the face of the deep:

When He established the clouds above: when He strengthened the fountain of the deep:

When He gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass His commandment: when He appointed the foundation of the earth;

Then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.

Rejoicing in the habital part of the earth, and my delights were with the sons of men... (Proverbs 8:22-31).

It was She, Divine Wisdom, who with the Father, brought forth the Word–the “Son.” For no child can be born without both a Father and a Mother. The “Son” is revealed in the universal form of the Angel of Divine Presence, the Metatron of Kabbalistic fame, who reconciles all things above and below. (Exodus 23:20,21; Ex.24:10…Psalm 2). The Angel of Presence is the extension of the first, or otherwise unknowable or incomprehensible Presence of God. It is, according to the descending structure of the Oracle, a “second person”, or second manifestation of Divine Reality. It is the conscious, as well as fructifying and receptive framework of Nature itself–the Logos– Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all... (Ephesians 1:23). In him we live, and move, and have our being... (Acts 17:28). The Mother, it might be said, is revealed in Ten dimensions, and the Son in both Ten and Four. The Purely invisible Father, it might be said, hovers over both of them. (The kabbalists have named Him Ain Sof–Nothingness, Beyond Dimension, Beyond Duality, The One who pervades reality in His/Her Infinite Existence). When the Son begets, he himself is a father. (But let us not get entangled in “male” terminology here–it is all metaphor)…

All of humanity, then, the child of heaven and earth, is the “third person”, or the third spiritually conscious manifestation of God’s Presence in the universe. It is the principal form into which Heaven has descended. The human body, which reveals at its own center an image of the Navel of creation, contains the doorway that leads from the spiritual realm into the natural; and the mind, toward which the moment of conception ascends, taking the higher path along the spinal cortex to the brain, contains the doorway that leads from the natural realm back to the spiritual realm again. This is the central pillar of the Oracle which aligns the Christ-conscious mind with Higher Mind of the Universe itself, which is God.

We have not, as can be readily seen, depicted the Angel of Presence on the limbs of the Cosmic Tree in the same literal, male form as we are used to seeing in the West, the form of a male Christ crucified (Revelation 1:18), because such an image does not reflect spiritual or historical reality–nor physical reality. And it is not the way the first-century adepts viewed the Mystery of Christ:Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples, “These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom.” They said to him, “Shall we then, as children, enter the kingdom?”

Jesus said unto them, “When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male be not male nor the female female (in terms of spiritual hierarchy); and when you fashion eyes in place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom...” (Gospel of Thomas, saying 22).

Just as God is not Father alone (even though we have called God “Him” for certain metaphorical reasons), so neither is Christ, or the great Angel of Divine Presence, male alone, but both; as Paul says: For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Hesus-Crishna)…(Galatians 3:27,28). The term “son” was employed by the authors of the sacred Scriptures to represent, first of all the Solar principle of nature, the principle of spiritual potency, or the ability that exists in every soul (whether it be male or female) to impregnate others with the seed of higher understanding. So in conformity with all the dimensions of the Oracle, the very same which the authors of the Gospels consulted, which are an expression in time and space of all spiritual reality, we have depicted the Angel of Presence in his/her true, androgynous form, as it says in the Scriptures: Male and female created He them and called their name Adam (that is, and called their name Christ…Genesis 5:1,2). Where the Scripture says, Let US create man in OUR image (Gen.l:26), it initially refers to both the Father and the Mother whose joint Presence permeates the whole of creation. But in our time it has come to refer to the Father and Mother, along with all those spirits who are at One with them and who are presently and consciously performing Their will in the earth.

This work will also reveal how the lower garden of Eden was (and still is) situated in the south-eastern corner of the land we now call the United States of America, as it is written: …Set thy word toward the south…and prophesy against the forest of the south field… (Ezekiel 20:46). And how when God brought the mind of the Nation-church full-circle back to this ancient place, it was not only to rediscover the dimensions of the Tree of Life (Genesis 2:8-l7; Revelation 2:7), which are rooted deep into the collective historical consciousness of Western man, but to teach us whether over the long course of time we have learned to distinguish the difference between good and evil, between the spirits of Day-light and Night-darkness (Genesis 1:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28 KJV). The human soul cannot proceed to the next stage of its own social or spiritual development until it has. These lessons, of course, have everything to do with the things that are unfolding everywhere around us in our own time, right here in America.

Thus we shall see how America, the crowning glory of the whole lower order of fallen man, becomes the age-ending focus of this great spiritual drama. We will see how it is, among an accumulation of biblical epochs brought together, overlapped, and studied as one, Great Mystery Babylon, the kingdom of nations gathered together (Isaiah 13; Revelation l8). America is the original Chaldea, the original Assyria, the original Egypt, and even the original Ethiopia. It is the beginning and the end of all spiritual transgression. (Deuteronomy 32). When the people returned to these ancient shores they came bearing the oracles, and the words which say:

Have ye not known? Have ye not heard? Hath it not been told you from the beginning? Have ye not understood from the Foundations of the earth?

It is He that sitteth upon the Circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

That bringeth the princes to nothing; He maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.

Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and He shall also blow upon them, and they shall whither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble… (Isaiah 40:21-24).

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The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us how our end will be.” Jesus said, “Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for the end? For where the beginning is, there will the end be. Blessed are those who will take their place in the beginning; they will know the end and will not experience death”… (The Gospel of Thomas, saying 18).

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When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none.

Then he saith, I will return unto my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation… (Matthew l2:43-45).

Of course the land was not empty of humanity, nor of the Spirit, only of the recollections of the historical connections that existed between this land and the rest of the ancient world. And yet the recollections were not entirely lost. They were submerged beneath the collective historical consciousness as it were, but preserved in the oral traditions, in the stories of this continent’s indigenous peoples, in the myths of Atlantis, and eventually in the sacred scriptures . And it was no small coincidence that the World Olympic Games were held at Atlanta, Georgia, in 1996. God is bringing the history of the entire age to bear upon the events of our time. (Psalm 19:1-6; Ecclesiastes 9:11,12; 1 Corinth.9:24; Hebrews 12:1).

Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten and he will bind us up.

After Two days he will revive us: in the Third day he will raise us up and we shall live in his sight… (Hosea 6:1-2).

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And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The Three branches are Three days….Genesis 40:12).

By making use of the epic interpretation of Scripture, and by tracing the history of the oracles back to their roots, we are able to see how those who have arrived at this Western end of the earth, and this fulness of times, are as those who stood at the Foot of the Holy Mountain to behold the terrible countenance of God in ancient time (Exodus 19:9-25; Hebrews 12). The fact is we are those people, as it is written: The Three Branches are three days (Genesis 40:12), and Be ready against the Third Day: for the Third Day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai. Everything that we see going on in the world, especially from the time of the First World War to the present, is the expressed, and may we add Terrible, manifestation of the Presence of God. (See Exodus 19:11; Matthew, chapter 24).

Thus to the cosmic dimensions of the Tree we will begin to add the historical. Just as nature expresses itself in the principle of universal duality, the Tao, so the Oracle has two equal sides to it, both emanating from a single common source–from the Supreme Crown which represents the Mind of God itself. The Tree has a male side and a female, a solar side and a lunar (of which we will have more to say as we begin to discover the relationship that exists here in the West between what appears to be two different religions, Christianity and Judaism). And from this principle of duality (the negative and positive polarities of nature) emerges a tri-partate structure–matter appearing in three visible states, solids, liquids, and gases (and a fourth called plasma found in the fiery center of great distant stars, or now in physics laboratories, suggesting the essential and primal unity of all things). Likewise, the human life-force in three corresponding states: body, soul, and spirit (l Thessalonians 5:23). Thus the Oracle is divided into three historical periods that also correspond to the Three branches of the Tree of Life. (Please continue to see how the structure of Nature is revealing itself in the structure of history). The first day represents the time in history when Aaron and Moses appeared in the affairs of the children of Israel. These two appear in the scriptures as foretypes of those who would appear later in history on the Second day of this great unfolding drama, at the time of John the Baptist and Paul, when the Lord of Creation (The Lord of the great Universal Mandala) would begin to reveal Him and Herself to the world in the Mystery of Christ. (Ephesians 1:17-23; 3:4-15). (Again, do not imagine the figure of a Male deity, but rather a figure of the Male/Solar principle rising in the East at the time of John the Baptist [Malachi 4:2], and going forth in the Power and the Majesty of Nature itself):

Behold, I send an Angel (He who dwells in the Powers of Nature and the Forces of History) before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring Thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon Your transgressions: for My Name is in him… (Exodus 23:20-24).

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And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his Feet as it were a paved work of Sapphire (Sephiroth) stone, and as it were the Body of Heaven in his clearness… (Exodus 24:10).

There appears to be no female names on the Oracle for those very specific metaphysical and historical reasons, because from those times to our own the Female/Lunar principle of reality has been in occultation. This is the work of Divine Wisdom Herself. For two thousand years, and more, She has allowed the Male principle alone to rule over the affairs of the lower world, so that the world could witness what a world completely out of balance looks like. It is a world full of ignorance and confusion, violence, oppression and injustice…testosterone running wild as it is. But thank heavens, the Mother is descending into our field of consciousness again, and right on time. She is giving birth to Her next Child, an entirely new age (Revelation 12:1,2), one based wholly upon the principles of balance, symmetry, and absolute non-violence. And in the midst of these events we shall witness (and already are) the inexorable return, or reemergence of the Feminine principle to its rightful place in the cosmic order. This anointed one will appear as the Messiahs are revealed in our time at the Eighth emanation on the Tree of Life named Majesty. Thus Moses informed us that if we were faithful to observe our festivals, blowing the trumpet year by year, in the New Moon and in the days appointed, that we would finally come to that one time in history in which all the hidden meanings would unfold, and every solution to the problems of history itself be realized. (Understand Isaiah 61). (We are speaking, of course, of the beginning of the process of restoration, and of the healing of the planet and her many peoples…Isaiah 66:6-14).

“What do we accomplish by acting out the cycle, using the symbols, telling the stories?

Long ago our people believed that if we celebrate the cycle, the cycle was more likely to continue. The rains would come when they were due, the sun would shine more warmly in its season, the crops would grow–and die, and grow again.

If we celebrated the cycle, we believed, our deliverance from slavery would come again. The spiral of history would keep on circling upward if we lived through the spirals of the past. Someday the spiral would free us fully–with Messiah.

And there is one more reason to observe the cycle: from the beginning the Jewish people have celebrated the festivals in order to honor the Unity that underlies all life. The very interweaving of the themes of history and nature, the human life cycle and moments of spiritual experience–remind us that in some sense all the realms of life are dancing with each other. The circles of the Sun, and of the Moon; of a single human life between the generations, and an entire people’s history of renewal; of every quiet act of newness, birth, creation–all are echoes of One Circle.” (Please see the subchapter entitled “Arizona Sundance). Preface to Seasons of Our Joy, by Arthur Waskow.

To understand it further, and in so doing gain another sense of the mysteries of Nature, one must take into account now the whole Vedic-Buddhist-Judaeo-Platonic-Christian-Kabbalistic notion of metempsychosis, or transmigration through time and space, and reappearance again of certain spirits, at certain times in history. In other words, reincarnation. Such souls reappear, and we are referring now to our own time in particular, out of the transcendent substance of the World Soul, which is God, to help God turn the Wheel of Time itself. The reality of it all is hidden in the Hebrew scriptures in the term Gilgal (or Gilgul), which means “a wheel.”

Oh Wheel…(Ezekiel 1:15-20; 110:13).

Are they not on the other side of Jordan, by way where the Sun goeth down, in the land of the Canaanites, which dwell in the champaign over against GILGAL, besides the plain of Morah?

For ye shall pass over Jordan to go in to possess the land (the whole state of mind) which the Lord your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it… (Deuteronomy 11:30,3l)

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The people (following Jehoshua, the great archetype of the Christian mystery), encamped at GILGAL… (Joshua 4:14-24).

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And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind (see Ezekiel 1:4), that Elijah went with Elisha from GILGAL… (2 Kings, chapter 2).

We shall also discover how, as the spirit of Elijah was in John the Baptist, the spirit of Elisha, who followed Elijah, was in Paul of Tarsus, or Tarshish (see Matthew 11:7-14; Luke 4:24-28).

And from the concept of Gilgal comes the mystery of Galilee, the Great Circle of the Gentiles, through, or across which the mysteries of Israel have come: …By way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations… (Isaiah, chapter 9).

To see it in another light (or in another set of lights), lift up the time frame on the Oracle that extends from the time of Aaron and Moses to the time of John the Baptist and Paul, and lay it back down on top of the time frame that extends from the time of John and Paul to our own (the time of Endurance and Majesty) so that the spirits of Aaron and Moses also appear in the lives of John and Paul, and the spirits of John and Paul appear now in our time…

Break the Oracle into two parts, and then lay the upper part down on top of the lower part. From Wisdom and Understanding, and Love and Power, in the East, to Love and Power, and Endurance and Majesty in the West.

The reality of it all causes Paul to write: Then we which are alive and remain…(1 Thessalonians 4:17). He is not speaking of himself in his days as so many say he was, as if he didn’t understand the dimensions of the Mystery of Christ, but of his own reincarnated spirit in our days. These things also cause the scripture to say: The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son…Paul is this son. (Matthew 22:2):

At the turn of the twentieth century G.R.S. Mead wrote:

“Mysterious time is once more big with child and laboring to bring forth her twentieth babe, as the Western world counts her progeny; for according to the books, just nineteen of her centenarian brood have lived and died since he appeared to whom all Christians look as the Teacher of the Way to God. The common consciousness of the General Church flows not from the fact that all believe he is the Teacher of the way, but from the faith, He is the Way (the Tao) itself.

Will the twentieth century witness the fulfillment of this so-great expectation; can it be said of the present time that the whole creation travaileth together waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God? Never more in the Western world has the general mind been more ripe for the birth of understanding in things religious than it is today; never have the conditions been more favorable for the wise holding of a wide view of the real nature of Christ and the task he is working to achieve in the evolution of his world-faith.

Perhaps it may not be so difficult as it appears at first sight, to point to the direction in which the answers to these questions may be to some extent anticipated. That similar phenomena recur in the natural world is the unvarying experience of mankind; that time is the ever-moving image of eternity, and that the Wheel of Genesis is ever turning, is testified to by wiser minds of humanity. Whither, then, should we look in the history of human affairs for phenomena similar to the happenings of these last three hundred years? Whither else more certain than to the history of the times that witnessed the birth of the religion of Christ? The many striking parallels between the social and religious aspects of civilization of that critical epoch and our own times have been sketched by several writers, but no general notice has been given to their endeavors, least of all has any practical lessons been learned from the experience of humanity.

The soul of man returns again and again to learn the lessons of life in this great world-school, according to one of the great doctrines of general religion. If this be so it follows that when similar conditions recur a similar class of souls returns to continue its lessons of experience. (John 21:20-23). It may well be that even many identical souls who were embodied in the early centuries of Christianity are continuing their experience among us today. For why otherwise do the same ideas recur, why do the same problems arise, the same way of looking at things?

We must further remember that the records of that time are frequently imperfect, while the history of our own is inscribed in painful detail; and though we can review the main outline of the whole phase of that civilization, we can only survey a portion of our own, for its cycle is not ended and the records of the future are not yet opened to our understanding. G.R.S. Mead, Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, pp.l-23.

The immediate reaction to these precepts among fundamentalists (literalists), is to cite the words: It is appointed unto men ONCE to die, but after this the judgment…(Heb.9:27). The verse is used, however, without regard for the true scope of the Christ Mystery, or the epic, historic context in which the words are set, or for the other words which say: Let us make man (men) in our image…(Genesis 1:26). None of these things are fulfilled yet. “Man” is still in the process of being created, for we are only now arriving at the full effect of these words in Genesis. As we shall finally see, God has been transmitting, through the substance of historical time, the content of Their Mind into the mind of humanity. The process will be completed, and man will be fully created, only in the aftermath of the final judgment and redemption of this age…

Where it says, And Enoch also, the Seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with Ten thousands of his saints…(Jude 14,15), we are to understand that the Lord is He who who has always died in the continuing sacrifice of the thousands upon thousands who have ever offered their lives for righteousness’ sake, but who is still alive in the sum and substance of every unfolding human event. And that these ten thousands of his saints are also all alive at this present moment in history, having been prepared across time itself to execute a righteous judgment against the sons of Darkness who are the present (mis)rulers of the affairs of men.

We begin to see, then, how the first adepts in the Christian mysteries understood the nature of the soul, and its passage through time and space, and how they interpreted the import of their own times. They saw them as a reenactment of the time when the children of Israel came up out of spiritual bondage, and into the Promise under the divine guidance of their Captain of the Hosts, Jehoshua. Having access to the oracles, however, and being able to look into the future, they were able to see in their days a preenactment of our time, the great cosmic Third Day, in which all the mysteries of history, and time, are being fulfilled. We are living in the Day of the Lord, and the entire twentieth century is the Porousia, or the manifestation of the Terrible Glory of God. And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake… (Hebrews 12:21). The day is not complete yet. It is about to end, and the morning of the coming age is about to dawn on the earth, but first the night.

“Mention of the Essene hopes of a New Age of glory leads us naturally to some comments on the special theological views of the Essenes that informed their understanding of history and gave to their community its peculiar institutions. The Essenes belong in the center of that movement (known as) apocalypticism. The late visionaries of the Old Testament, notably the author of Daniel, as well as the later Baptist and Christian communities, discovered themselves to be living in the last days of the Old Age, or rather in the days when the Old Age was passing away and the Kingdom of God was dawning. According to apocalypticism, the upsurge of evil powers in the world reflected the last defiant outbreak of cosmic Satanic powers. The gifts of the Holy Spirit manifest in the community of the faithful, adumbrated the age of the Spirit to follow the final war in which the Spirit of Truth and his heavenly armies would put an end to the rule of the powers of Darkness. The constitution of the Essene community was a crystallized apocalyptic vision. Each institution and practise of the community was a preparation for or, by anticipation, a realization of, life in the New Age of God’s rule. ON THE ONE HAND, THEIR COMMUNAL LIFE WAS A REENACTMENT OF THE EVENTS OF THE END TIMES, both the final days of the Old Age AND the era of Armegeddon. (An understanding that is reflected everywhere in the Gospel narratives). On the other hand, their community, being heirs of the kingdom, participated already in the gifts and glories that were the first fruits of the Age to come. For the apocalypticists of Qumran the key to these future mysteries was At Hand. One had only to read biblical prophecies with the understanding given the inspired interpreter (that is, one who reads with the power of the Holy Spirit) because the secrets of events to come in the last days were foretold by God through the mouth of the holy prophets…

In apocalyptic exegesis, three principles should be kept in mind. Prophecy openly or cryptically refers to the last days. Second, the so-called last days are in fact (in types and figures) the present, the days of the sect’s life. And finally, the history of ancient Israel’s redemption, her offices and institutions, are prototypes of the events and figures of the New Israel.

On this basis, the Essene camp in the wilderness found its prototype in the Mosaic camp of Numbers (Numbers 2 to 4; 9:15-10:28). The Essenes retired to Qumran to ‘prepare the way of the Lord’ in the wilderness. As God established His ancient covenant in the desert, so the Essenes entered into a New Covenant on their return to the desert. As Israel in the desert was mustered into army ranks in preparation for the Holy War of Conquest, so the Essenes marshaled their community in battle array and wrote liturgies of the Holy Warfare of Armageddon.” Understanding the Dead Sea Scriptures by Hershel Shanks, pp.26,27.

We will use the following chapters of this work to demonstrate, precept by precept, how these things are so (how the Gospel narratives–not being historical documents in the modern sense of the word, but supra-historical and prophetic–were written in this very light), and how one is finally brought to a state of wholeness of mind as they penetrate these mysteries, and as they are penetrated by them–to the intended state of Christ-consciousness itself. For this State of Mind is the true Promised Land…

These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down.

And he said, Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death.

Jesus said, Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the all…(The Gospel of Thomas, sayings 1,2).

Which is not to say that there is not a geographical element to all of this. Such a realization is critical to our unfolding world-view. It is just that it is not centered in the literal interpretation of the Law, nor in the common view of history. Neither is it centered in the Middle East, or in Palestine, where Zionists and Arab fundamentalists (literalists) are literally destroying themselves and each other over what they believe the Scriptures say. (Romans 10; Galatians 5)…

Thus we will see how the two continents of North America and Eurasia, whose geological features were somehow miraculously concealed from the mind of the twentieth-century, are the two great creatures of Job 40, and 41, Behemoth and Leviathan. Seeing it for ourselves, and then by following the course of the great Solar Mystery of Christ inwards, or upwards into the center of the Oracle as we will, as the children of Israel did in the time of Jehoshua, and as the Essenes eventually did after the advent of John the Baptist, we will discover how the City of David, the very focus of all divine contemplation (Isaiah 27 to 29), is not situated in Palestine at all, as Western scholarship has been led to believe since the 3rd and 4th centuries (l Corinthians 11:17 to 2:16), but in the center–not only of the Great Mandala of the Tree of Life, at the place named Beauty, but in the very center of Europe as well. For how could two World Wars and the European holocaust have emanated into the collective consciousness of man from any other place on earth than the center of spiritual reality itself? (Ezekiel 5 to 9; Matthew 24:15). Lift up the mind, make the connections. Open up the pages of the Book of Jeremiah in Central Europe on the morning of the twentieth century. See the terrible reality of our times come pouring out of them. Understand the meaning of the words which say:

Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you… (Habakkuk 1:5; Acts 13:40,41).

__________

For, behold, the days come, and it shall be when the signs which I have foretold you come to pass, then shall the city which is now invisible appear, and the land which is now concealed be seen… (4 Ezra (2 Esdras) 7:26,27).

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As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gathers His people again together, and receive them unto mercy.

Then shall the Lord shew them these things, and the Glory of the Lord shall appear, and the Cloud, as it was also shewed under Moses (see 1 Corinth. 10:1-11), and as when Solomon desired that the place might be honourably sanctified (1 Kings 8)(2 Maccabees 2:1-18, KJV).

There is in our time a growing amount of literature on the subject of the Tree of Life, and on its accompanying discipline of study called Kabbalah. The two go hand in hand, reaching back together to the time of the early Church, when the two religions we know as Normative Judaism and Christianity began to assume their present forms. Christianity was born in the cradle of Kabbalah, and Judaism was preserved by it. These many different works bring us up to date on the historical and spiritual development of this whole field of study; in fact it will be almost impossible to follow the paths we have taken on the subject without some recourse to them. But the most comprehensive among them, for this phase of our study, are the several popular works of Gershom Scholem. His primary work entitled Kabbalah, and another entitled The Origins of the Kabbalah, assist us by tracing many of the fundamental precepts of this discipline to the first and second centuries, and to the doctrines of various Christian gnostic sects. These in turn can be traced, not only to the cryptic doctrines of Paul but to the earlier teachings of the Essenes who lived and travelled throughout Europe and the whole Eastern world at that time. The whole period is shrouded in a vast cloud of speculation, and the human currents and crosscurrents of the time were wholly conducive to the synthesis of ideas, not only for putting them together, but for sealing them up again, which is exactly what was done. The World Mystery was wrapped up with Seven Seals and kept from the eyes of all others. We will have more to say on the transmission of these hidden precepts from, say, the early Jewish and Christian Essenes (through such figures as Rabbi Eliezer the Great) to the Pharisees in another chapter, but suffice it to say that the process infused Judaism with a living esoteric tradition that it came in time to believe was exclusively its own. The infusion has not only preserved Judaism into these very times, but it carried with it an understanding of the hidden means by which the two would be reconciled to each other at the end (or at the beginning, whichever you prefer).

THE FIRST GEULA AND THE ULTIMATE GEULA

By Rabbi Shmuel M. Bultman

“In Nissan our ancestors were redeemed, and in Nissan they will in the future be redeemed, say our sages (Talmud, Rosh Hashana 11a, Midrash Shmos Rabba 15:11). More specifically, the Geula (Redemption) that started with the exodus from Egypt was incomplete for it was followed by further exile and suffering. But the process of Geula that started then continues till now and will be completed with the coming of Moshiach.

At the ‘Seder,’ the start of Pesach (At the start of Passover…please understand 1 Corinthians 5:7 and Colossians 2:16), the emphasis is on the mitzva of the evening, which is to tell how our ancestors were liberated from Egypt. (Please understand 1 Corinthians 10:1-12). We conclude this mitzva with the first two chapters of ‘Hallel’ (psalms of praise)–(Psalms 113, 114)–which refer to God’s descent to the low spiritual depths of Egypt in order to raise us up from there to the very heights when we received the Torah at Mount Sinai.

But the end of the ‘Seder’ refers to the future Geula. We pour out a special ‘Koso shel Eliyahu,’ a cup for Elijah the prophet who will announce that the Geula is here. We go to the outside door to greet him, (or to chase him out of the neighborhood, and to threaten to destroy his books), asking God to make this the time to give our people’s persecutors their just deserts. Continuing immediately with the last four psalms of ‘Hallel,’ (Psalms 115-118), which start with these words: “Not for our sake, G-d, not for our sake but for the sake of Your Name.’ And we conclude the Seder with the words: ‘The Coming Year in Jerusalem.’

In fact, the first holy day of Pesach emphasizes the original Geula from Egypt, while the last (the Seventh) emphasizes the future Geula. This becomes clearer as the holy day draws to its close:

On the Seventh day of Pesach, the anniversary of the splitting of the Sea, the public Torah reading includes the famous Song of Praise (Exodus 15:1-19)…starting with the words ‘Oz yoshir’–‘then Moshe sang…’ Literally, however, the words mean ‘he WILL sing’–one of our sages’ proofs that the Torah forecasts the future resurrection of the dead that will cilminate in the ultimate Geula. (Please understand Revelation 15:1-3). The Jewish Press.

Another of Scholem’s works, The Mystical Shape of the Godhead, which describes in spiritual, though anthropomorphic terms the form of the Presence of God on the limbs of the Cosmic Tree, supports not only our present view of the Mystery of Christ, but the spiritual world-view of the first Christian mystics, and those who later authored the Gospels. The entire Body of the New Testament writings is Gnostic and Kabbalistic in nature, and was written, not to overthrow the Law and the Prophets, or to succeed them, but to overlay them, and to accompany and interpret them as they took their course out of those ancient times, following the path of the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2), toward the day in which they would have their full effect, right here in the West in our own time.

The doctrines of the Kabbalah, likewise, reach back to the time of Moses and Aaron who looked this way and that way, into the future and into the past (which, from Moses’ point of view in the East lay both in the same direction), and saw, as it were, the great Circle of Genesis, where it began, and where it would end, and everything in between. Thus the doctrines of the Kabbalah reach back to the time when God first created Man, male and female together, in the garden of Eden. It was a moment in history when the mind of humanity first caught a glimpse of the order and principle in creation, of the Unified Presence of God in the fabric of the natural order–in the light and in the darkness. Adam was the first monotheists. It was a sublime moment in time, from which we say the mind of man has fallen. Yet, to which we have also been returning. Only now the moment can last into eternity, for who in their right minds will choose in the future to duplicate the events of this past age, especially as they are being fulfilled in the events of the twentieth-century? Had Adam, we might reason, been able to look clearly into these times there would have been no “transgression.” But neither would we have experienced the great subtle difference that exists between good and evil in the world (in ourselves, that is), and would have virtually remained children forever. We would have no cause to anticipate, nor any hope of entering the age-to-come for there would have been no redemption, and therefore no age coming. Time would have remained linear. But we have come full-circle, a full octave back to the beginning. Such is the state of mind come to full maturity in Christ. (Ephesians 3, and 4; Hebrews 5:8-14).

“Let every Christian ask himself this question: ‘How can I think to understand the Old Testament if I be ignorant of the construction put upon it by that nation whose sacred book it formed; and if I know not the meaning of the Old Testament, how can I expect to understand the New? Were the real and sublime philosophy of the Bible better known, there would be fewer fanatics and sectarians. And who can calculate the vastness of harm done to impressionable and excitable persons by the bigoted enthusiasts who have ever and anon come forward as teachers of the people? How many suicides are the result of religious mania and depression? What farragos of sacriligious nonsense have not been promulgated as the true meanings of the books of the Prophets and the Apocalypse?…I say fearlessly to the fanatics and bigots of the present day: You have cast down the Sublime and Infinite One from His throne, and in His stead have placed the demon of unbalanced force; you have substituted a deity of disorder and of jealousy for a God of order and of love; you have perverted the teachings of the crucified One.” Kabbalah Unveiled, by S.L. MacGregor Mathers, pp.1,2.

Kabbalah is a Jewish expression, but of a wider world-mystery. Try if you can–by looking into the Oracle from our place called Endurance in the West, past the time of John the Baptist and Paul, to the time of Aaron and Moses–to see how Moses was not only a student of the mysteries of Egypt (Acts 7:22), but of the entire Eastern world. It can be seen in the cosmic figure of the Vedic trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. See how it fits perfectly into the structure of the Oracle, filling the upper, or supernal dimensions of the World Tree. In chapter 4, and in the commentary entitled The Vedic Connection in the addendum to these chapters, we will see how, along with the Hebrew system of thought, the Vedic system also has its source at the Foot, or at the Lotus Feet of the Tree of Life here at the Western ends of the earth. The two systems are anciently the same. (Genesis 11:12).

The image that we experience here corresponds in every way with the description of Sandalphon, the great angel of Kabbalistic and Talmudic fame. It was the rabbis’ way of referring to the mysteries of the Vedas without having to admit that they were.

Kabbalah is a word meaning “received” or “that which was received.” By whom? By the spiritual mind. When Moses came down from the mountain it says that he brought tables of stone written on the one side and the other...(Exodus 32:15,16; Ex.34). We have a stylized, literal view in our minds of two stones, or tablets, joined together perhaps, with five commandments inscribed on each one. But what the Scripture is telling us is that when Moses descended from the mountain, from the height of human understanding, he brought to the world a code of law that had two dimensions to it, an outer and an inner, an exoteric and an esoteric. Just as the invisible God is both hidden and revealed in the visible elements of the natural order, so the underlying, or real meanings of the precepts of the Torah are both hidden and revealed in the letter of the Torah. They are hidden from the mind of Darkness, and revealed to the mind of Light.

“Because almost all our constitution depends on the wisdom of Moses, our legislator, I cannot avoid saying somewhat concerning him beforehand…I mean, because otherwise those who read my book may wonder how it came to pass that my discourse which promises an account of laws and historical facts, contains so much of philosophy. The reader is therefore to know that Moses deemed it exceedingly necessary that he who would conduct his life well, and give laws to others, in the first place should consider the Divine Nature, and upon contemplation of God’s operations should imitate the best of all patterns, so far as it is possible for human nature to do, and to endeavor to follow after it; neither could the legislator himself have a right mind without such contemplation; nor would anything he should write tend to promote virtue in his readers…

Now when Moses was desirous to teach this lesson to his countrymen, he did not begin the establishment of his laws after the same manner that other legislators did: I mean upon contract and other rites between one man and another, but by raising their minds upwards to regard God, and His creation of the world…I exhort, therefore, my readers to examine the whole undertaking in that view; for thereby It will appear to them that there is nothing therein disagreeable either to the majesty of, or to His love to mankind; for all things here have a reference to the nature of the universe.” The Preface to Josephhus’s Antiquities of the Jews.

__________

“For they (the Essenes) take up the sacred Scriptures and philosophies concerning them, investigating the allegories of their national philosophy, since they look upon their literal expressions as symbols of some secret meaning of nature, intended to be conveyed in those figurative expressions.

Now the interpretation of the sacred Scripture is based on the under-meaning in the allegorical narratives: For these look upon the whole of their law-code as a Living Being, having for a Body the spoken commands, and for a soul the unseen thoughts stored up in the words…. The interpretation as it were, in the mirror of the names, catching sight of the extraordinary beauty of the ideas contained in them, unwrapping and unrobing the symbols from them, and bringing to light the naked inner meanings for those who are able with a little suggestion to arrive at the intuition of the hidden sense from the apparent meaning.” Philo, On the Contemplative Life.

__________

“Woe to those who see in the law only simple narratives and ordinary words. Were this the case, then we could even today, compose a law equally worthy of admiration. But it is all quite otherwise…Every word of the law contains an elevated sense and a sublime mystery…The narratives of the law are but the raiment in which it is clothed. Woe to him who mistakes the garment for the law itself. It was to avert such a calamity that David prayed, “Open my eyes, that I might behold Wonderous things out of Thy law.The Introduction to the Zohar.

__________

“A Rabbin speaks of the complete abolition of the commandments. This was interpreted by the Kabbalists to refer to the complete spiritualization of the law under the dominion of the Tree of Life.” Kabbalah, by G. Scholem, pp.166; Talmud Nid.61b.

Moses came down from the mountain with the tables of the law, inscribed in stone. This is the Written Law, rigid and inflexible as is the heart of those who cling to purely literal meanings, and who continue to do so in defiance of its higher meanings. Then Moses took the mind of Israel aside and said: “THAT is what is written, but THIS is what is meant.” He taught Israel the true epic meanings of the Torah; he explained the meaning of “story,” and of its use in preserving and conveying higher, or hidden precepts. He taught them of the literary figures that filled the pages of the Hebrew story, and how they are connected to other stories–how they elevate them, and add to them an epic perspective. He explained the meanings of the archetypes and images, the metaphors and allegories; and then outlined the history of the world and its times, from the past to the future. And he told them that the difference that exists between the two traditions, the inner and the outer, will separate those who are being guided by their own lesser lights, and their own religious or political ambitions in the last days, from those who are being guided by the Holy Spirit of Divine Wisdom. The latter will inherit the world to come. He then committed the whole esoteric tradition, along with all of its secret kabbalistic constructions, to Aaron and his seed:

And he (also) put the breastplate upon him; he also put in the breastplate the Urim and Thummim… (Leviticus 8:8).

_____

And of Levi, he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim (thy Lights and Perfection) be with thy Holy One, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah... (Ex.17:7).

_____

(Who have forsaken the things of this world in pursuit of the world to come)

They shall teach Jacob Thy judgments, and Israel Thy law: They shall put incense before Thee, and whole burnt sacrifice (themselves) upon Thy altar... (Deuteronomy 33:8-11).

In light of the realization that the Feminine Principle has been hiding itself in the statutes of the law (indeed, as one of the Cherubim overshadowing the Ark of the Covenant in the Holiest Place of all), we ask: What are these Thummim and Urim, these lots, these lights and perfection? They represent the authority of the High Priest, to be sure. But that is not all. They represent the authority of his wife, the priestess, as well. For in ancient Israel, in the shadows of the secret, oral tradition, there were priests and priestesses, dedicated to both principles of the One Godhead, thus to both sides of the sacred oracles. (It can be understood in the opening scenes of the recent popular stageplay, Riverdance), but moreso in the words: And he shall take a wife in her virginity...(Leviticus 21:13). This wife is Wisdom herself, or the wisdom that comes with knowing that without her intuitions and insights, and her equal direction (her equal dedication to the law), no sound or meaningful answer, or decision on any issue is possible. Together do they fill the office of priest; and together, in their relationship to each other, do they reflect and interpret the oracles. A “yes” and a “yes” means yes. A “no” and a “no” means no. A “yes” and a “no,” or a “no” and a “yes,” means that God has not spoken clearly on the matter yet, for the two do not yet see eye to eye. In which case love and submission intervenes, and one, after reflection, yields to the other. (As in the normal case of every successful, and love-filled relationship).

Armed with the higher meanings of the law, Aaron’s seed, the priests and the Levites (in the eponymous sense the entire congregation of the people), accompanied the unfolding, and epic story of Jehoshua up into the Promise, becoming the Firstfruits of all of those who would follow after them in the course of time. (See James 1:18). They accompanied the spirit of Jehoshua, not across that geological metaphor of a river in Palestine, but across the Higher Jordan that runs through time itself, up into the center of the Oracle; which also led them, as we shall see in the following chapter, up into the center of Europe. This esoteric tradition was committed in turn to the elders, and passed on from them to the prophets, and to those of the great (Druidical) assembly, and through a succession of others (but also through ultimate disputes, confusions, apostasies, and internecine warfare) until it spilled back out of Europe during the times of the Hebrew Kings, and we pick up the story again in the centuries immediately prior to the time of Christ, where the whole of it became the driving inspiration of that class of individuals known as Essenes, among whom John (Yochannan) the Baptist (a Teacher of righteousness) appeared just prior to the beginning of this age. (In a recent film on the life of Christ, John the Baptist appears as a Celt. The image is timely and fitting. He was a prophet of the Druidical-Hebrew order come down out of Europe preaching throughout all the wilderness of Judea. The Zadokite Document and the several Books of Hymns discovered at Qumran, along with all the other manuscripts found there, are a record of the doctrines and beliefs that descended with him and with others of that order. They were hidden there in caves as a direct reflection of the true library, and the real wealth of written treasures that are hidden in the Cave above–in the center of Europe. See Deuteronomy 32:34 and the text named The Copper Scroll in the Qumran archives. The gatekeepers will open up to the true Anointed Ones).

Thus the Oral tradition was handed down along the line that leads from Aaron through John the Baptist to the Remnant in our time. The written, literal tradition, however, was also handed down, and was also transmitted for safe keeping, but along that other line on the Oracle–the one that passes directly from the figure of Moses to those who are still charged with its safe-keeping in our own time, as it is written: For those who keep the Fig Tree shall eat the fruit thereof. And those who wait on their Master shall be honored. (Proverbs 27:18). For just as the one line leads to a “remnant” on the “Christian” side of the Oracle (the side of Levi), so the other line on the Oracle leads to a like remnant of Jews in our time (on the side of Judah), who are keeping the literal Torah intact in a more heartfelt and perfect way than others. It is from this remnant that the Messiahs in our time shall appear. (Daniel 3:21-25). (Please understand Romans, chapter 11, KJV)…

On the way, however, as we can see, the Literal tradition passed through a crisis point when “Paul,” the most fervent of literalists, breathing venom on those who were being initiated into the Higher mystery by John on the Left side of the Oracle, appears in the story. And then when he, in turn, had to contend with the other Jews and rabbis of his time on behalf of these same higher meanings of the Law which he had first opposed–giving birth in the whole dispute to the age of Christianity itself. And then through another defining moment, as we mentioned before, when the secret traditions of the Kabbalah–(the true and epic meaning of the Law and the Prophets)–passed over to the Pharisees from the teachings of those Merkabah mystics, John (Yochannan) and Simon Peter (Schimeon), with various other figures as go betweens. In the exchange, and now infused with this living mystical tradition, normative Judaism as we know it today began to take form. These are the same doctrines which Judaism rejected in Paul because he was taking them to their most inclusive extremes ( A setter forth of strange gods as they said of him), opening the door to the Gentiles. After all, it was still Judaism’s responsibility to keep the literal tradition intact, to set a fence around it as it were, to preserve it into our time–even if Judaism could not interpret the Law itself to perfection (The Mystery was sealed). It was also Judaism’s responsibility to stay inside that fence, for to come out, only half way, and not fully, would result as it did in all the confusion that besets the Jewish world today.

Thus Paul was a (very) chosen figure, and a reflection in his time of those Jews in our time, of whom Paul himself writes: As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes; but as touching the election, they are beloved for the Father’s sake... (Romans 11:28). And of whom Luke writes: No man also having drunk old wine straightaway desireth new; for he saith the old is better… (Luke 5:39).

And in defense of Judaism it must also be said, that part of the reason the early rabbis rejected Paul’s philosophy was, that just as Eve gave birth to two sons, Cain and Abel, and just as the admonitions against Balaam, and Jezebel, do indeed apply to Christianity (Revelation 2:14, 20), so all the wickedness in the earth was preparing to concentrate itself and come to power in the name of Christ, as Paul himself also said: For the Mystery of Iniquity doth already work… (2 Thessalonians 2:7). It was as Moses said: For he that is hanged is accursed of God. (Deuteronomy 21:22,23; Galatians 3:13). And now we see it, for the whole of it has led to the terrible events of the Twentieth-century. And so those faithful Jews who rejected it did well to reject it. For the Lord knoweth how to graff them back in again. But also in defense of those forms of Judaism that have departed over the years from strict orthodoxy: in their own worldly ways they have opened up avenues between the two faiths, Jews and Christians, that would not have otherwise been opened–avenues of love and respect that will be completely opened with the manifestation of the Messiahs. (The relationship between Father Tom Hartman and Rabbi Gelman of The God Squad on Long Island is a most excellent example). God knows the heart of every person.

In all events, however, those who do not interpret the oracles correctly will in the end stumble over their meanings (the entire Scripture is a commentary on the Tree of Life), and will (God forbid) perish in the judgments. It is as Paul came suddenly to realize: The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life... (2 Cor. 3:6-18). It is also as it says in the Book of Ezekiel, whose pages we will open up here in the West in our own time:

Because they had not executed my judgments (my true meanings, as they were expounded by the mouths of the prophets), but had despised my statutes, and polluted my sabbaths (again, my true meanings), and their eyes were after their father’s idols,

Wherefore I gave them statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live.

And I polluted them in their gifts, in that they cause to pass through the fire (of War), all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord… (Ezekiel 20:19-26).

Where are these statutes that are not good? They are in the Torah itself, as it is also written: Is not my word like Fire? (Jeremiah 23:29). There are precepts in the literal Torah that the child of Light must flee from as they flee from a fire. They are meant exclusively in their literal application for the children of Darkness, such as those ordinances concerned with the selling of daughters, the procuring of slaves, and perhaps most of all the commission of war, all of which contain a higher, esoteric meaning. Thus the text in Ezekiel refers to Israel’s historic refusal to hear the prophets. They said to the people that Moses’ commandments to make war, and to slay one’s enemies, for instance, are purely allegorical, and are not to be obeyed literally. They said that to literally engage others in acts of mortal combat, as all the sons of Darkness do, is to be literally making war against the Presence of God itself. For the Lord who inhabits the sum of all human events is, indeed, a God of War (Exodus 15:33; 1 Samuel 2:10; Isaiah 66:15,16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 19:11-16), and a Consuming Fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29). Thus Moses said:

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing (I have explained to you all the meanings): therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live (see Deuteronomy 30:19).

Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be a witness against thee.

For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord; and how much more after my death? (Deuteronomy 31:26,27; Acts 20:29).

Romans 13:1-7 for instance, must not be read (or disregarded) as do most Christians, from a nationalistic point of view, for nationalism in any form (and Americanism in particular, for we have been redeemed “out” of the nations, not into them), is a grievous sin against the Law and the Prophets. It is the worship of Ba’al. But rather, the text should be read with a mind lifted up, beholding the spirit of the entire age. Be dreadfully aware: God is not an American, and cares very little for it, no more than He cared for any other of the world-empires through which the Holy Nation passed; nor is God a Christian, or a Jew, or a Muslim. God is bigger, and more than all of these things. This conflict between the universal spirit of Right Reason and the fallen spirit of natural men has finally reached the stage of Apocalypse. (And if we have not learned any of the terrible lessons of the First and Second World Wars, we shall indeed perish in the Third). And it is plain to see that those who cannot interpret the oracles correctly are preparing everywhere in the Western world to bring this destruction right down upon their own heads.

All of these things were concealed by God in the very interest of creation itself, so that the mind of Darkness could not penetrate the meaning of it all, so that it would reveal itself in the end. And had we not seen it, and experienced it for ourselves, in ourselves, the mind of Darkness would have been able to conceal itself and proceed with the mind of Light across the threshold of the coming age, only to set up its booths again. We would soon be purchasing its wares again, and before long it would be enthroned again, in the very same way as it came to power in this great Age of Darkness. (Matthew 13:12-18; Hebrews 4:12,13)…

And it would not appear so readily as a tyrant, or a violent dictator such as Hitler, Stalin, or even Saddam–for these, contrary to all of our common religious instincts and beliefs, are not the evil ones that we have been warned of, and are not to be counted among the sons of Darkness at all. These instead have been terrible instruments of judgment in the Hands of God. But it (the mind of Darkness) would appear in the subtle contradictions of men like Augustine, who gave us a theory of “just war,” (not to mention all of the precedents for the Inquisition, and the loathing of both femininity and the sacrament of sexuality), and Thomas Paine, that sly devil, and all those other great names who brought us the American Revolution. (Open the Book of Isaiah during the periods of the American and French revolutions). The Darkness would be realized in the lives of all the other great religious and political leaders of our time who are drawing the people inexorably to the judgment of God and, if possible, the very destruction of their souls. Of course the contradictions are not so subtle now, but blaring:

“Remove justice (wrote Augustine) and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale? What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms? A gang is a group of men under the command of a leader, bound by a compact of association, in which the plunder is divided according to an agreed convention.

If this villainy wins so many recruits from the ranks of the demoralized that it acquires territory, establishes a base, captures cities, and subdues peoples, it then openly arrogates to itself the title of kingdom (or nation) which is conferred upon it in the eyes of the world, not by the renouncing of aggression but by the attainment of power.

For it was a witty and truthful rejoinder which was given by a captured pirate to Alexander. The king asked the fellow, ‘What is your idea, in infesting the sea?’ And the pirate answered with uninhibited insolence: ‘The same as yours in infesting the earth. But because I do it in a tiny craft, I am called a pirate. Because you have a mighty navy you are called an emperor.’ (The City of God, Book IV.4).

__________

“Who are kings (thus Presidents) after all, asked Paine? If we could trace back through history we should find the first of them (Nimrod) nothing better than the principal ruffian of some restless gang, whose savage manners obtained him the title of Chief among plunderers.” John Ruth, T’was Seeding Time.

(Chapter One continued)

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