Category Archives: Meditation

What is the Wilderness?

Throughout the New Testament are expressions using the word “wilderness”. Like most people during my Bible studies, I never thought that this word might have deeper meaning than that of place far from civilization where “wild” is the key.  As my own esoteric studies have progressed, I have realized that these expressions, like the rest of the esoteric New Testament, have a much deeper meaning than merely “uncivilized”. (The following are Revised Standard Version; thanks to www.biblehub.com for the concordance):

  • Matthew 3:3 For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.”
  • Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
  • Matthew 11:7 As these went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
  • Matthew 15:33 And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?
  • Mark 1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness,’Make ready the way of the Lord! Make his paths straight!'”
  • Mark 1:4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins.
  • Mark 1:12 Immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness.
  • Mark 1:13 He was there in the wilderness forty days tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals; and the angels were serving him.
  • Mark 8:4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?
  • Luke 3:2 in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.
  • Luke 3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness,’Make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.
  • Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness
  • Luke 5:16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
  • Matthew 3:1 In those days, John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying …
  • John 1:23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”
  • John 3:14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
  • John 6:31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness. As it is written,’He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.'”
  • John 6:49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.

These are just a few of many possible examples. If we approach these from an esoteric perspective that the human being is indeed comprised of body, soul, and spirit, then we can use “wilderness” not only figuratively but also literally to mean the physical body. For example, at the baptism, the Holy Spirit descended and remained upon Jesus of Nazareth. Thus, a new spirit entered Jesus’ body. A new spirit entered humanity. In becoming Man and then becoming the Son of Man, this spirit had to go from the “civilized” spiritual world into the physical world where bodily influences stream into the soul. Thus, immediately after the baptism, this holy spirit was driven into the body, the wilderness. Now in entering the “wilderness”, the body, Christ Jesus was exposed to human temptations.

Taking this further, we can deepen our understanding of manna from above as well as the meaning of bread. One of Jesus’ temptations was to turn stone into bread. What happens in the process from grain to bread? Seeds are not much different from little stones. What is the difference? Could you tell the difference if handed two objects that looked alike, one a real seed and one an imitation? Again, what is the difference? Life! Life becomes awakened through warmth and air and water, the three elements “above” the element earth. When we make bread, we crush the grain. It is then mixed with water and warmth and the leavening adds air. Bread represents the body that has been “crushed”, that is, worked upon by oneself.

In esoteric traditions, the human is described to have three interpenetrating bodies: a physical body, a life body, and an astral body (where our light shines, the seat of our soul). Note, only the physical body is comprised of minerals and obeys physical laws. Now, check out the occurrences of Three Loaves in a concordance such as here. Now we understand what was meant by “three loaves”!  Now we can begin to grasp one of the “I am” sayings, namely, (John 6:35 ) “Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life.” And from this we have an insight into the Last Supper and the Mystery of Golgotha,

Lastly, “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,” The Serpent is Lucifer, the light bearer. Moses accomplished something in the body. No longer were we to be driven by our passions, our emotions, our animalistic tendencies. What came through our senses could now be met with wisdom, wisdom raised up in the body. Now, what was done via wisdom is to be done via love. Spiritual Civilization will come to our three bodies if we will it.

Meditation on John’s Gospel

Esoteric writings typically were originally passed along orally. These were meant to take hold of the thought process in one’s mind. Like ‘following” a sound wave, one’s mind expands during the meditation. No longer looking out from a point, one’s mind goes through the eye of the needle, through the crossing point of the lemniscate, so that what was inside now becomes outside. One’s mind no longer is point looking a physical world around them, but now is more like a sphere looking in and, of course, no longer looking at the physical world.Lemniscate

To guide one’s mind in this way, the meditation needed to flow. Often poetry was used where the meter, the rhythm, set a mood. The premier technique for the thought process is to use the object of one sentence as the subject of the next. This is the technique the writer of John’s Gospel employed in the Prologue (chapter 1) which can be used effectively as a deep morning mantra. I offer now my own personal translation derived from Zondervan’s Interlinear New Testament:

In the beginning was the Logos,

And the Logos was with God.

A God was the Logos,

This same one was, in the beginning, with God.

Through Him became all things.

Not one thing became without Him.

In Him is Life.

Life is Humanity’s Light.

This light shines in each soul’s darkness,

And the soul’s darkness comprehends it not.

 

Learning Christianity from a Tadpole

OK, this title sounds crazy. Hang on; it will (perhaps I should say may) become clear.

This morning I was reading an article in a journal from the Nature Institute called In Context. I was struck by how the author, researcher Craig Holdrege, was able to describe how genetics alone cannot lead to an understanding of how one organism can transition from a tadpole to a frog. Craig writes “I’m wanting to counter the strong habit of thought that imagines the answer to developmental questions – the key that opens insights into the mystery of development – as lying in the past and in substances, i.e. in what one images as physical causes. No matter at what level we consider an organism and its development, we are always dealing with organizing activity or agency that is specific and that provides the context for any part-processes, such as molecular events, that are discovered.”  Earlier Craig had written “When scientists discover new molecular processes that in turn influence other processes, they are uncovering fascinating details about how the frog is coming into being. They are not ‘explaining’ it.”

I recall my high school biology teacher waved a wand over metamorphosis and later to pass the exam we needed to claim that all aspects of the processes could be found in its genes or DNA. Craig’s article caused an ‘Ah-ha!’ moment for me when I got to his conclusion “Something creative – something I have referred to as ‘activity’ or agency – is molding the developmental process. But it is not an artist creating something externally. It is the developing organism as artist creating itself. This gives richer meaning to the term ‘autopoiesis’ (self-creation), which is often used to characterize the self-organizing capacity of living beings.”

You see, in Him is life. Through Him all things became. Of course! The wholeness of Nature. All living things share their source in the Logos.  We all know about the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Metamorphosis is happening everywhere in Nature; we just do not see it; it is occult.

And what is our metamorphosis? How can we find our inner artist and fundamentally change our own being? What can we become? We must do our inner work individually but to metamorphose into our becoming we must become as one with another human being for when two or more are together as one self, in my name, I am there.

For more on self-metamorphosis, see this blog post on Whitsun.

Dreams

This post will reveal some, perhaps unfavorable, personal traits of me. When I was a child I remembered far more dreams than I do as an adult. Occasionally I’ll remember the last dream of the night or one where I woke up during the dream and was able to make a written or visual or mental note about it so that in the morning I was able to recall the dream. Now I recall a dream from last night.

In the dream I was the person responsible for a group of people. We were in a fancy large hotel. My immediate responsibility was to get these twelve people from the hotel to their transport to some morning event. Soon the twelve had all arrived so I began to lead them to where I thought the taxi stand for the hotel existed. I knew where it was because I had, in the dream, stayed in this hotel at a prior conference (the memory of this was present to me in the dream but it was not part of a prior dream or reality that I am aware of).  Out of the hotel we wander and I soon realize that there are no taxis in front so I lead the group down the circular drive to the highway where I try to flag down a set of taxis. But there are none. Then one comes but the driver appears busy and does not even look my way. Suddenly I have an aide and she suggests I call the taxi service with whom I made arrangements. Brilliant! My dream-memory said that I had made arrangements. I pulled out my iPhone and in its ‘recent calls’ list I found the number. The driver answered the call and wanted to know where we were! I asked him where he was and he said he had a 12-person van in the taxi stand behind the hotel. I realized at that moment that in leading the group to the front I was using old data. I apologized to the driver and said “we’d be right there.” Prior to this, the group had paid no attention to me. They were chatting profusely among themselves and treating me as a mere lower class tour guide. Now they began to complain about my incompetence as I led them back into the hotel’s front entrance. I would need to find a stairway to go down one level and walk the entire depth of the hotel’s ground floor to reach the rear entrance. That’s when I noticed a clear overhead sign that stated the taxi stand was now in the rear. Some in my group also noticed and increased their condemnation of my capabilities. At this point, I woke up. It was 5 am and sunrise was just beginning.

This dream helped me to realize that when traveling and within crowds, I become inwardly tense. In this state I become less observant and less tolerant. I sometimes go into auto-pilot and rely on doing things the way they’ve always been done. But with the spiritual world, things change, evolve. The way to the taxi stand to be transported with my 12 beings was no longer where it was in my previous ‘incarnation.’ The way there is now first inwardly, first into myself to find how I am a microcosm of the macrocosm. These twelve are me as a microcosm. When I try to take care of them out of old knowledge, they ignore me. But as I get my directions aligned, I’ll receive their ‘guidance,’ as difficult as it might be to hear. For to reach the taxi stand and the transport, I will need to sacrifice this old lower self, these old habits, and this materialistic thinking. Scourging is part of the western spiritual journey.

In ancient times, dreams were more easily remembered and remembered with reverence for dreams were a gift from the spiritual world. They contained wisdom and foresight. But as humanity evolved to become self-aware, intellectual beings, the importance of dreams faded. Human destiny was for us to develop individualism, true freedom. “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” [John 8:32]

Now I’m trying to read the signs of our times and find that taxi stand behind the hotel [my body] with a van for twelve.

Dual Triads of John’s Gospel

For Christian mystics and most of the so-called heretics, John’s Gospel was beloved as the most esoteric. With 21 chapters, the middle chapter must be the most important. What is chapter 11? It is the raising of Lazarus who afterwards becomes the beloved disciple. Yes, Lazarus, after this public initiation, takes on a new name, as did all initiates, choosing in his case the name John. Betrayal of the Mysteries meant death. This is why high priest Caiaphas prophesized that  “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” [John 11:49-50, NIV]

This gospel is appropriately named “John’s Gospel” and not “Lazarus’ Gospel” because all of the events recorded are witnessed by the author! But how can this be? Was Lazarus at the baptism? No, but John was. We are introduced to John as the witness in Chapter 1, the Prologue. When one was initiated, their new name arises out of their spiritual experience. It was John the Baptist, who had recently been beheaded, who was Lazarus’ guide during his three and a half days ‘dead’. While the old ego of Lazarus died in this initiation, the entelechy was very much alive. He is called forth by his hierophant, Christ-Jesus, at the scene of his raising from the dead. Now, as in the Mysteries, Lazarus is such a changed person he must take on a new name. And he calls himself after his guide, John, for what John had witnessed had been passed on to the former Lazarus.

John is first mentioned in John 1:6, “there was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.” This gospel concludes with the words “This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.” [John 21:24]

And one gem that came to me in my morning meditation a couple days ago was the structure of the first lines of this gospel where it says “In the beginning was the Logos. And the Logos was with God. A God was the Logos. This same one was, in the beginning, with God. ” Note carefully that both ‘Logos’ and ‘God’ are repeated three times. The sequence is: Logos, Logos, God, God, Logos, God. This is the story of the Logos, so it begins with the Logos. One can arrange these as the six-pointed star of David; that is as dual triads. The first triad is Logos-Logos-God as a trace of the triangle pointing downwards (towards the earth). The second triad, God-Logos-God traces the triangle pointing upwards (towards the heavens). Now we can better understand why this gospel has 21 chapters or 3 times 7. This gospel is about the Trinity and Logos. The expected God from the Sun, the Christ, represents the solar system as known in the Mysteries from whence comes the names for the days of the week and why there are seven days per week. Sun and moon and the planets out to Saturn. Three outer planetary spheres and three inner spheres (where the moon is considered here as an inner sphere).  As microcosm of this solar system, mankind is 7-fold (Physical body, Etheric or life body, Sentient soul-body, Intellectual soul, Spirit-filled consciousness soul, Life spirit, Spirit man). As a microcosm of the Trinity, mankind is 3-fold: body, soul, and spirit.

The Scapegoat and the Blood of Christ

What is blood? What requirements were there in Jewish traditions for a blood sacrifice? What does it mean that Christ’s blood was shed? Where did this blood go? What did Joseph of Arimathea collect in the Grail? How does this affect us today?

To begin this study, we’ll go to Leviticus 16 where we read “Then he is to take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoatAaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to theLord and sacrifice it for a sin offering.10 But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before theLord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat.” [comment: John the Baptist says of himself I am a voice crying in the wilderness and after the baptism, Christ goes out into the wilderness to be tempted. The wilderness is the uncivilized part of our soul, the untransformed part where animalistic desires exist].

Now back to the theme of sacrifice and again to Hebrews, now in 13:12 we read: 11″The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.”

So if Christ becomes the slaughtered goat, who is the scapegoat? According to Berenson Maclean, “although Hebrews does not mention the pair of goats, the implication is that Christ’s blood corresponds to that of the immolated goat.” She goes on to conclude that “Jesus’ death must have been modeled on the goat’s sacrifice in the purgation ritual.” [Berenson Maclean, “Barabbas, the Scapegoat Ritual, and the Development of the Passion Narrative,” pg. 319] Christ clearly is the sacrifice. This was first mentioned at the raising of Lazarus [John 11] when some present went and told the high priests what had happened [that an initiation had taken place in public].

46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” 49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish. 51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

The scene with Pontius Pilate and Barabbas is, in my mind, when the high priest, enacted by Pilate, brings forth the two goats and reverses the cult by having the (unclean) people select. Thus Barabbas becomes the scapegoat and Christ the sacrifice. Both are named Jesus – making them alike. I wonder if Pilate was a lower initiate. Just as one goat would be sacrificed and one let go, so this cult was enacted by Pontius Pilate! The two goats? Jesus Christ and Jesus Barabbas. The crowd decides which to release. [For more on this see Andrei Orlov’s paper Jesus as the Scapegoat]. So Jesus Christ becomes the sacrifice which takes place on Golgotha. What once took place within the Holy of the Holies now is enacted in public. Here His blood is sprinkled not in front of and onto the atonement cover but onto the earth and into the Grail. That which the Heavenly Hierarchies could not know, Death, was to be overcome by this sacrifice. Humanity now could become free of the Temporal where death rules and enter the Eternal with a purified, transformed soul and body.

With the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, the Most Holy Place, the Holy of the Holies, was gone from the physical world. Without this physical temple, it was impossible to perform a blood sacrifice. When we consider Christ’s words “destroy this temple and in three days I will rebuild it” we come to realize the mystical depth of His act on Golgotha. The rebuilt body is the Third Temple. Christ was (and is) the last blood sacrifice. And the blood entered the Earth. What can this mean? We can look at this in a future blog. And the blood was caught in the Grail. What can this mean? The greatness of this act is that each of us can reenact it within our soul.
The “camp” or “tabernacle” refers to the temporal body. The spirit is, of course, the eternal. The human being consists of body (soma), soul (psyche), and spirit (pneuma). Within our soul we have our lower ego. When we can allow this lower ego to go through “the disgrace” and the stages of the cross, we experience the Rosicrucian saying “In Christos Morimor” [in Christ we die]. Through this death process our soul becomes part of the soul of Christ whose ego becomes our higher ego. Now one can say as Paul did, “No longer I but Christ in me [Galatians 2:20]!”
Ages ago people could be initiated into a Mystery whereby they could experience the spiritual world. To develop Freedom, the spiritual world withdrew. The experience of spiritual beings outside of one, dimmed to darkness as the place for the experience entered within the individual. We can have spiritual experiences once again today. Through them we can lift our consciousness to higher levels in the Spiritual Hierarchies. But only through him can we come to experience the Father [John 14:6]. Note the reverse direction is found in John’s prologue [1:3] where it says “Through Him [Christ] all things became.” The things of the physical world belong to the Temporal and succumb to Death. Through Him, we can come to our Eternal. To do this, we must go outside of our body, our camp/tabernacle in the physical world. This is the goal of meditation. We must learn how to experience without (or beyond) the senses and without (or beyond) our normal thinking, our normal mental picturing. Only through Him can we today come to the experience of the Father.
For more on this see this article The Scapegoat and the Blood of Christ.

What is a Mystery? What is a Christian Mystery?

MacMillan Dictionary defines Mystery as something that you are not able to understand or explain. Another definition is information about a subject or activity that only some people are allowed to know.

If we go back to 500 BCE and especially if we go further back, the Mysteries played a vital role in all cultures everywhere in the world. Candidates who proved worthy were specially prepared to serve their people through service to their Mystery Center. This preparation involved a transformation administered by the hierophant who oversaw the death of the former person, a 3 day death experience, and then a calling back to new life.  The initiate, who during these 3 days experienced the spiritual world, was so changed that they took on a new name.

In order for Humankind to fully develop Freedom, that is, spiritual freedom in thinking and consciousness, the Mysteries had to die out.  The Dark Age settled in when direct guidance from the spiritual world came to an end – the Twilight of the Gods passed.  Into this darkness came the new Adam, the Logos.

The greatest mystery of all, the Turning Point of Time, occurred on Golgotha as the blood of the Son of Man ran into the earth transforming it forever. With this deed, Humanity could now become the tenth hierarchy.  The New Mysteries had begun.

This web site is devoted to what these new mysteries can become.  We explore the ancient mysteries and what they can tell us about the human being, who we are, and what we are to become.

The Goal of Meditation (Western Path)

I was asked a question “do Anthroposophists (spiritual scientists) believe that they are gods or even greater than gods?” I replied with the following that I will share here:

I think there is much more to this question than a mere yes or no.

This may sound like “what is the meaning of life?” Well, in fact, it is related to that question, why are we here? What is the purpose of humanity? What’s the end goal?

Science today would have us believe that first came matter as atoms, then bigger atoms and molecules, then building blocks, then life, then consciousness.  Many philosophers and scientists today have come to a different conclusion, namely that consciousness is primary. From consciousness came life and from life matter. This does not violate the fossil record. As Life evolved, it was necessary to shed aspects to continue towards an upright human being. Life evolved shedding or precipitating out the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, and the animal kingdom. Finally an upright human being could evolve on earth.

The gods (a hierarchy of spiritual beings) prepared the earth and guided Mankind. Gradually they pulled back to where the human no longer walked with gods, no longer talked with gods, no longer found them in dreams or meditations, and eventually no longer found Nature a manifestation of the divine. God deemed this destiny so that human beings would develop towards a goal. What is that goal? To become spiritual (divine) beings of love and freedom. Each of the existing hierarchy are already spiritual beings of something – their name is what they represent. For example, Dynamis mean spirits of movement.

To become spiritual beings of love and freedom, that is a far distant goal of course. 

Through inner development, one can improve one’s character, one’s moral fortitude. And one can also open soul organs through which one can perceive the spiritual world.  The High Priests of old were such people. The Cathars of the twelfth to fourteenth century called such people Perfects as they had been perfected. Such terminology shows up in many early Christian writings. As in Buddhism, it is possible for such a perfected one to no longer incarnate. But typically in Christian streams, such perfects actually seek to incarnate more frequently to be of greater service on earth to their fellow humans.

Who were the sons of God spoken of in Genesis 6.2 and 6.4? 

In Anthroposophy, we might see ourselves as moved by responsibility to Michael and the spiritual world that tries to carry out God’s will. We might feel called to do service but to perform this service we must set aside time in our day to work on our inner life – with the goal of opening these organs of spiritual perception so that we may work out of the truth and goodness that flows from Michael, from the Christ impulse, in ways that are appropriate today. So we do not see ourselves as God or gods, but as servants to such. We do not see ourselves as privileged but as earnest and responsible.   

The meaning of life? The end goal? Mankind is to become the Tenth Hierarchy. There will be other beings after us who will be at the human stage and we who are human now will be their angels just as those that are angels now were at a human stage in times long, long ago. Perhaps the end goal is to build out Twelve Hierarchies eventually?

Guiding Humanity

Historical records indicate that tribes or ethnic groups had a god that led them. Their priests were specially selected and trained in their consciousness and morality to be able to hear the guidance from their god. Later, a bit over 5000 years ago, Kali Yuga began when Humanity’s innate ability to experience the spiritual world was severed. The “discovered” Mayan calendar also described this 5000+ year period. During Kali Yuga, the Folk Spirit of a tribe could no longer guide its people so that they might develop Freedom. Humanity had the remains of Mysteries to help make good choices but gradually this faded as well. About the time of Aristotle, the Cosmic Intelligence was gradually given to Humanity.  Gnosticism, Scholasticism, and other enlightenments arose.

Humanity, in picking up this intelligence, has tried to improve its lot with utopias, eugenics, free market concepts, and many other ideas most of which have failed. Our experiments tend to destroy the Human soul. We need guidance again that the spiritual world again is offering but we need to develop ourselves to be able to hear their call. We are now out of this dark age and we can once again develop the ability to experience the spiritual world.

There are ways to develop oneself to be such a servant. Rudolf Steiner gave the most modern method in his book Knowledge of Higher Worlds and Their Attainment. There is also the 8-fold path of the Gautama Buddha and others. Because the experience of the spiritual world will be new, the science of this experience will be raw and the experiences themselves can be clouded with deceptions from our own soul or from beings who wish to lead us astray.

My proposal is that meditants work with a group in addition to working alone. One person who has been working alone for a while on a given subject who feels that they have a breakthrough or some inspiration brings this to those gathered at the meeting. Such inspirations can come one morning as one awakens if one has  “posted” a selfless question during prayer or meditation for many evenings before going to sleep. The meeting members then work with this inspiration during the meeting, playing out the inspiration in their imagination of how it would work in their life. If acceptable, then the Human feedback “fleshes” out the concept; makes it practical. We arrive together at a practical picture of an inspiration that might be adopted or further worked by the originator. You see, the originator is working in the vertical, in the direct connection to God or to the heavenly hierarchies while the meeting takes this inspiration and works it in the horizontal – at the human life on earth level – thus, the cross.  I believe this method will prove to be useful for Humanity.

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