Karl Friedrich Altoff
by Ilse Althoff
all rights reserved
The twelfth symbol:
Name: lâmed = ox-goad
Image: a bent ox-goad, holding from top to bottom
There's a yet further step to the guiding capacity of the spirit. The Hebrew root L-M-D means: learn, teach, lead, guide. Through learning, the person who has become a shepherd teaches and leads. He practices directing souls through the spirit. He leads himself. This shepherd's staff, which the Lamed represents, is grasped from above and down as it were in the hand of the Self, which encompasses the powers of its soul. All guidance of the soul by the spirit, however, is oriented toward the realization, which is summed up in the words of Christ: The Father and I are One (12:20). The Father is the primordial ground of Being; he abides hidden in all Being until he is revealed through the awakening of powers of the Christ which lie hidden in us all. His darkest secret, in which he abides at his most holy, manifests as the material world. It is His love which has been poured out into the grave of matter. The Father abides in holy and concealed silence - "in the Heavens", in the hidden cosmic domains of the spirit, in the innermost essence of what is. Finding Him is based in "true materialism", "manifest materialism", true apprehension of the world from the viewpoint of higher understanding. However, only that 'I' finds the Father, who remains in the Christ within us, in the Son of Man, who can be born through consecration within us and from us. The silent world of matter opens itself to this 'I' as the world of the Father. "I and the Father are One" establishes the living realization which leads to union: "The recognition of the idea in reality". This is the world of the Father. "It is the true communion of man." It is the union, the unification of the spirit in man with the spirit in the cosmos. However, this is the Feast of dedication of mankind and of the world which arises out of the activity of the Self, the guidance of the spirit, from self-guidance.
The Jewish Feast of Dedication in mid-winter - Hanukkah = dedication, consecration - reminds Israel of the renewal of the temple which occurred after heavy damage. At Christmas time, the man was born into the body, who would renew the damaged human image, in that he represented the body as the temple of the spirit in his own being. It is at the time of the last Feast of Dedication before his death, that the Christ says these words of the unity of him with the Father (10:22). It is the cornerstone of the new temple.
The motion of the l-sound is like that of the smoke of incense. Through it, the forces of the soul which have been seized and purified by the Self rise up within us in renewed life. They open themselves up to the apprehending awareness of the person, who "has his being in the lap of the Father (the material world)" (1:18). The sense of sight associated with the l-sound as well as with the ibex allows us to glimpse into the power of the Self.
D. Soundless Smoke of the Incense (10:22-39): I and the Father - renewal of the temple.
The thirteenth symbol:
Name: mêm = water
Image: wave of water with a downward stroke
The m expresses a feeling into oneself, a baptism. The life force is expressed in the water. At the same time, water is associated with purification and comprehension of the mysteries, just as the m-sound in Greek is connected in an interesting way with the mysteries. M´yeo - 'initiate'; m´ystes - 'the mystic, the initiated one'; mystérion - 'Mystery, secret, secret teaching, secret knowledge, sacrament'; mystikós - 'mystical'; m´ychios - 'inner'; mykhos - 'the inside'... all of these are derived from the root m´yo - 'close the eyes'.
Also the name 'Moses' is associated with spiritual initiation in connection with water. The Jewish historian Josephus knew this name, which the Greeks translated as Moyses, in order to derive it correctly from the Egyptian Mo-udja: 'through water (mo) baptized (udja)'. Moses led the entire Israeli people through the Red Sea, aligning them in the process. He led them as if through death to purified life under holy, divine direction. This was the educational intiation and leadership regarding Him Who is coming.
'M' belongs to the water man. John, Aquarius, the water man, leads people through a death experience in the sacrament on the Jordan to a new life in the awareness of Christ as Logos. In the baptism in the Jordan river - the deepest cut into the earth's surface - people were submerged under the water after some inner preparation until the soul began to fall apart. These people saw their lives pass before them in a large vivid images. As if from viewpoint of the keepers of the Logos which rise out of the deep, they saw their alienation from the spirit - homo-lóg-esan tàs hamartías autôn. They "acknowledged" their sins. They made themselves (through judgement) like the Logos...
In all rituals of baptism which lead one through the death state, the powers of life are mastered by feeling deeply into them. Ancient wisdom rooted in foundations of the cosmos, in God the Father, in primordial life is reflected in the water man. People submerged themselves in the consecration. This is what the Mêm says with its simple m-sound, which means 'water'. To the person who is separated from the spiritual or divine, any sphere of the primordial life will be the nothingness of death; it will destroy him. Nevertheless, in the union with the Christ as Logos, the one who is consecrated arises out of such a death purified and transformed. He who has achieved the baptismal, empathic, purifying control over the powers of life and death becomes a healer.
The resurrection of Lazarus reveals the "Great Transformer" for what he is. The mystical act of resurrection occurs publicly through the mystical death - something which otherwise could only be brought about in secret. The opponents of Christ must now lock up this spiritual traitor. They have refused to recognize who this Jesus of Nazareth is, and have likewise refused to recognize that he has come as the revealer of secrets.
The short biographical note which opens the long chapter of Lazarus hints at a very deep truth regarding that which lies in the letter Mêm (10:40-42): Christ stays awhile at the places where John baptized, that is, at the location which according to 1:28 is called "Bethany on the other side of the Jordan". John has in the mean time been beheaded. There the message reaches him, that in Bethany "close by Jerusalem" Lazarus, "whom he loves", is ill. Christ now proceeds from Bethany to Bethany: from the one "low place", the lowest point on the earth's surface (letter Beth), to the other "low place" in Judea.
John the Baptist, who had submerged people in water in order to prepare them for the recognition of their true humanity, he who himself was the incarnate Adam, was beheaded. He himself was submerged in the dark depths of death. His essence remained connected with the location of his acts - at Bethany on the Jordan. His name is mentioned three times in this easily overlooked section (10:40-42). In the other Bethany of Judea, the disciple whom Christ loves sinks into death, and is resurrected on the third day in a public mystical act, which seals Jesus' fate. And in this Lazarus rises as John the apostle. If we wish to understand this rightly, we will see the archetype of Christian existence in the resurrection of Lazarus. Why does the human soul experience the Gospel according to John as literally bound to its innermost heart? This is even true when man lives so fully in his intellect, that for him "God is dead"? Even when this "modern sentence" of "intellectual truth" is passed, it originates in the destructive alienation, in which man's soul rots and is dried up. It is only overcome when one intuits the divine realms within and transcends the separation in one's own soul. The human soul is capable of learning to feel into the language in the Gospel of John as the language of Adam himself, who is resurrected in Lazarus, this mysterious disciple who loves Christ, who lies on the breast of the Lord and hears the heartbeat. Even if the intellect cannot grasp such a connection, it rises out of the depths of the human soul as "Adam in us", revealing itself as "the consciousness of our humanity", in which we learn to feel, experience and understand the unity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. This will become the path of the "Mêm-M´yesis" (consecration through water) for modern man - through the death of the God-Man to the resurrection of God in Man, in the Man of John.
From now on, the archetypal "epistle" in the prologue (1:15-18) can be understood as a transition from the baptist to the apostle:
John bare witness of him,
and cried, saying:
This was he of whom I spake:
He that cometh after me is preferred before me,
for he was my original image.
And of his fullness have we all received,
and grace for grace;
For the law was given by Moses,
but grace and truth,
came by Jesus Christ.
No man hath seen God at any time,
the only begotten Son,
which is in the Bosom of the Father
he hath declared him.
E. Transformation (10, 40-17, 26): The revelation of the
1. 10:40-11:54: The great Sign - the raising of Lazarus.
The fourteenth symbol:
Name: nûn = fish
Image: representation of a fish, which swims from top to bottom, with a downward stroke
Since ancient times, the fish has been the symbol of the redeemer. In the history of the world, the fish embodies the period in which warm, red blood has not yet evolved, in which guilt flows through the veins of him who has closed himself off by self-discipline. So the fish symbolizes the holy original state of man in its untouched innocence, the state that man can look back at as John's baptism (mêm). In the Christ, the primordial image, the archetype of man was incarnated, in order to restore his original state through an earthly death. (nûn). So the fish is the symbol of death and resurrection, the sign of Jonah - "the only symbol which can be given to this species". In the Zodiac, the fish is associated with the feet, which symbolize the path of destiny which human feet follow.
Now comes the crisis in Christ's path, in the world. The adversarial power of the Son of Man leads to his own destruction. The crisis befalls him personally. For it is the Christ himself who prepares the redemption through this coming crisis. The redemption rises out of the water (mêm), in order to embrace the world. The earth is itself the fish (nûn) in the sea of worldly ether. Together with the mankind living on it, it is itself susceptible to the great crisis. The judgement is passed. The enemies of the Christ prepare it. However he converts this judgement which has been brought about by his enemies into the completion of his act of redemption.
Among other things, the n-sound is the sound of flowing and streaming. The n belongs to the sign of the fish, Pisces, as well as to the feet of man, which are released to fulfill their destiny on earth. Just as Moses followed Josua ben Nun (son of the fish), so Jesus Christ, the "fish", the living core of the development of human destiny on earth follows John - "the water man", Aquarius - the one who is consecrated through water (Mô-udja).
It is almost time for the Passover festival before Golgotha. Events are happening quickly. In seven acts, the drama of the judgement occurs, and after the climax of outward events, a shift takes place toward inner changes. Seven images represent the events in this chapter which follows the raising of Lazarus (11:55-12:50). They pass before our eyes and become windows, through which we look out upon the path of external and internal development, which mankind has gone through since the great flood. The path of earthly destiny is the theme of this chapter. In search of purification, the crowds move upward toward Jerusalem, the Holy City, just as the Indian people seek purification in the Ganges. And the great question stands before this crowd of pilgrims: What do you think? Will He also come to the festival? (11:55-57). However, the enemies publish a decree, that requires that they be shown where Jesus is staying. The trap is laid which shall catch the fish.
In the mean time, Jesus is staying in the house of Lazarus. There he who has passed through sin and guilt is prepared for the path to the cross: Maria Magdalene anoints his feet. Even the Christ himself is in need of this loving gesture as a preparation for the cross. (12:1-8). Since the masses (Greek ókhlos), now curious, are drawn out to see the risen one, the enemies decide to kill also Lazarus. (12:9-11) Guilt and atonement was the theme of Persia. Decadence characterized Babylonia-Egypt. And the man who we see walk into the Holy City is now in great danger of conviction (12:12-19). This (Palm Sunday) is the last straw, the last gesture of public provocation. Implicit in it lies the threat of the impenitent people of Israel who are now celebrating, but who later will cry, "Crucify him!" The great First Advent towers up before Greece, Rome and Israel: The Christ as Logos has completely taken hold of the earthly body. The living center of the world's evolution will now be reached. The time has come.
It is deeply meaningful that only in the Gospel of John is it described how the Greeks come to see Christ. Christ tells them the true eleusian mystical parable of the wheat (12:24 in 12:20-37). With that he addresses the myth of Demeter and fulfills it. This scene makes up the fifth of the seven parts of this chapter. One understands from this that the Greeks of Eleusis would be known as the bearers of the fifth post-atlantean epoch, the era of Pisces, in which Greek thought, now released in loveand into itself, shall rise up sun-filledand conscious. "Everyone is Greek in his own way, but he is it" - with these words, Goethe expresses that which in our time concerns the fish. For this reason, the Christ is also revealed to the Greeks, and in this connection, one finds the parable of that which we now know as the "world crisis" (31). The key lines for this entire chapter of "Nûn" - destiny, the fish - ring out at the conclusion of Christ's speech to the Greeks (35:36): "Fulfill your destiny while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth; While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light". Christ speaks these words in reply to the questions posed by the "crowds that stood by and listened" (29:34), but the word "peripateîte" (fulfill your destiny) was Greek enough to be understood by those who had ears to hear. However, at the same time, Christ also founds the new order of Essenes with these words: because the Essenes called themselves the B*rîth B*nê ´Or - covenant of the sons of light. Through the recognition of the Word, the most mature fruit of Greek spiritual life, the Logosophia, became the seed of the Christ-Gnosis. In the revelation of the Christ to the Greeks, a first glimmer of the Sun of theSelf is felt on earth, and this was the original holy intent of the order of Essenes. The course of the world symbolized in the sign of the fish, the Nûn, brings about the great rift between those who will remain in darkness (38-43), and those who devote themselves to the light of the self, not in order to cut themselves off from the world, as the Essenes had done, but who devote themselves in all openness to the world - as sons of light who will be transformed by the Christ that they may be essentially within him. In this way, the earth shall remain, and be brought to its fulfillment. (44-50)
E. Transformation (10, 40-17, 26): The revelation of the
2. 11:55-12:50: crisis and preparation.
As we saw in Note I, the sound group LMN stands in polar opposition to BGD which appear in the beginning of the alphabet after the first letter, ´aleph. With LMN, the second row of letters begins. The esoteric part of the Gospel of John begins after this transition which corresponds to the soundless smoke of the letter Lâmed. This part was entirely inspired by the consecration which Lazarus-John went through during his death. After Lamed follow two similar letters: Mêm and Nûn, water and fish, just as in the Zodiac, Pisces follows Aquarius, the water man.
This sequence -m-n- can be traced into the dark, ancient past of linguistic evolution. While other sounds and sound-groups were subject to more or less fundamental changes during the various linguistic developments of the post-atlantean period, this fundamental root m-n has accompanied mankind essentially unchanged in its consonantal structure since the great flood. It remains m-n-, a holy construction of sounds, which accompanies us through time. The basic meaning of this sound group as a word root is "remaining, being, essence".
In ancient Egypt, this -m-n- appears with the same meaning: "remain", with a single glottal stop (´) in front in the name of God ´AMUN (Ammon), who was designated as "the most holy of the cosmos, who abides in the All and the Nothing".
In the Semitic languages, this root appears as ´-m-n with the basic meaning: "It stands as truth, it endures, it remains substantial". In Hebrew there are a number of cognates, most prominently ´Amen - "it stands as the (spiritual) foundation of existence. Yes, so it is!" To this belongs also ´emét (from ´emént) = "truth"; the causative verb form hé emîn means "believe" with the deeper meaning: to grasp and comprehend as the spiritual essence of Being, to acknowledge and recognize as truth. In the root word ´AMEN with its three consonants ´-m-n, that is with the symbols Taurus-Aquarius-Pisces, a path into the cosmic word is revealed. If you listen into it and live with it meditatively, the essential Logos breaks out of the ground of the Father to baptize the world. It rises through death and resurrection to revelation and a new life for earth, mankind and the cosmos; it is the path of mankind between Heaven and Earth.. Out of the Father arises mankind, in whom Christ has perished, and who in spirit is resurrected to new life.
In the Indogermanic languages, this -m-n- has lived on in many ways. You find the Greek méno, "I remain" - a word which contains a deeply mystical power. The Christ uses it to refer to his essential abiding in the Father, and of the Father in him. The Gothic Wulfila- translation renders it as "wesen" (wisan), which means "Abide in me and I in you". The Greek mémona = "I abide consciously, think, consider" is originally related to this basic word of being, abiding, essence, . You also find the Latin memini, "I remember", Greek mimnésko, "I remember" - and: anámnesis, "memory as spiritually substantive retention of something which abides inwardly". In German, the verb 'meinen' belongs here in its original sense of believing, considering, loving, memory as loving consideration.
The root m-n- appears also to refer to a "spiritual ecstasy": Sanskrit mányate, "he thinks", which is directly related to the Greek mainetai, "he is spiritually inspired, taken over by higher thought, he raves". However, in Germanic you also find MAN (Mannus) and MANNA, "the man, the human being", namely the being which is spiritually or intellectually inspired, also: mannisk-, "possessing a spiritually inspired soul", which is the word which later evolved into the German MENSCH. This corresponds to Sanskrit MANU, the Indian name for "Noah", and mánushya, "human"; manas, "spirit at its first stage of abiding in the soul", Greek menos, "spirit, courage".
The fifteenth symbol:
Sound: voiceless, sharp s (ß)
Name: sámekh (ß-) = supporting beams
Image: vertical beams with three cross beams
The image of the window or opening (hê) with its vertical beam and its three leftward extending lines follows the triangular letters bdg (see letters 2,3,4 and note I). Similarly, the letter sámekh with its vertical beam and its three intersecting lines follows the two related symbols M and N. If we think of the Hê as the 'I', which learns to guide the soul through the Spirit, then the image of the supporting beam seems to symbolize destiny, and resembles the world of Christ's disciples. The Christ dispenses these powers of destiny, and the disciples must extend them. With the washing of the feet, the Christ sets his disciples forth on the newly prepared path of "new establishment in God". He initiates them into the mystery of earthly destiny, which will now become the location, the spiritual path.
The voiceless s-sound is occasionally referred to as the "Great Transformer". One who opens himself to the Grace of this power can now change his own destiny and the destiny of others. We look through a window into the balcony of the Coenaculum in the Essene temple. This balcony is supported by a beam, and there a sacred ritual is taking place. In a very ceremonial manner, the ritual is initiated. In the middle of the ritual, however, we hear a key line: (literally) "... having loved the I-own (toùs idíous) which (lived) in the world, into the goal (eis télos) he loved them..." (13:1) Then the Christ washes the feet "at the evening meal". This is the first of the seven stages of the path which he will follow through passion and death to resurrection and ascension. The "key phrase" "eis télos" (to the completion of the goal) mentions also that portion of the eleusian initiation, that which goes "to completion" - the Teleté (something like reaching of the goal, completion) after the "Myesis" (first step of consecration or initiation). This Teleté - fulfilled in "Telesterion" in Eleusis - contains three elements: that which is spoken, the mystical act, and that which is symbolized. All three of these elements can be found also in the washing of the feet. We see the Christ carry out the washing of the feet according to precisely described preparations; we hear him say words which reveal the innermost essence of what he is doing: "... for I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done unto you..." Peter interprets this mystical act as a rite of purification. It is more than that; it is the establishment of something new. If we look at the conclusion of the gathering, then we can see what kind of purification and new foundation is prepared: The Christ teaches his disciples to "forgive sins".
The Grace of authority is opened to the Self-Realized to transform fate, just as it was to the kingly priests. They can on the one hand leave people "retaining sins", consigned to their fate and held at a certain level of separation from the spirit until they are considered to have matured through suffering for higher development. Or they can on the other hand help people be released from the bonds of fate which they are caught in, to stand them upright by helping to bear their load, so that they are then free to see and to carry and to make up for the debts which they have accumulated, thereby "forgiving their sins". "Those who are in Christ", have the authority to set the forces of nature in motion and to turn lives along a new path. They do this by the power of the spirit which has been granted them. All of this is the working of Christ on us and in us; it is the ritual of the washing of the feet.
We look at the shape of the Sámekh one more time: a vertical beam supports three horizontal poles. This also is a triple cross: The 'I' serves the three powers of the soul and works with them, so that they can develop freely toward higher awareness in the forehead, throat and heart of the human being. Sacrificial and devotional love of the strong for the weak, of the high for the low, of the pure for the impure is the power of redemption for humanity and the world. It reveals itself in the act which supports, transforms and guides destiny. We make the sign of the "Samekh" over us, bearing in mind the nature of its power whenever we cross ourselves in devotion.
E. Transformation (10, 40-17, 26): The revelation of the
3. 13:1-30: the initiation of destiny (the washing of the feet).
The sixteenth symbol:
Sound: `, a very tense velar consonant produced deep in the throat
Name: `ájin = eye and source or spring
Image: a small circle, an eye and the opening of a spring.
The name of this small round letter, the `ajin, means both 'eye' and 'source' or 'spring'. This sound which breaks out of the depths of the throat is unique to the Semitic languages. Through it, one can experience the first opening of the child's eye in the mother's womb, like the opening of a spring in the earth. It can symbolize both the painful bewitchment of vision, as well as the true awakening of the spiritual source on the path to awareness and devotion. The "inner eye" only opens when there is pain. It opens to the imagination. It opens in the hard encounter with the world and its reality. In confronting the world, however, the human being finds Christ, who speaks the word of death to the Father, the death that leads to life.
The letter `ájin = eye-source-spring corresponds to the long chapter of the final speech which follows immediately after the foot-washing (13,31-16-33). This chapter is clearly divided into 22 smaller subsections, which like those in the Gospel itself, correspond to the letters of the primordial alphabet. In this it follows the steps of the religious drama, just as does the Gospel in its entirelty. The chapter of the final speech is therefore like a Gospel within a Gospel, the Great Sacrament within the entirety of the Gospel, the Great Sacrament of new spirituality. The letter of the eye symbolizes the high point of the ancient initiation ritual, whose fulfillment is reflected in this final speech: the Epopteia, that is, the raising of the open eye onto the central mystery (ep(i) up, upwards, opt- related to 'optic'). In the course of the religious drama, the final speech occurs at the point where the transformation is completed. It actually corresponds to the instant when the divine eye shines through the raised Host and the divine spring spouts up in the raised Grail.
The inner eye breaks open into awareness. Through His word, the Christ opens the inner eye of his disciples to their essence, action and path, whose highest fulfillment is love, the spiritual goal for mankind and the world. Through his word, the Christ shares himself sacramentally in essence with those who belong to him. The I-AM reveals itself as the Way, the Light and the Life. The I-Am is the true grapevine on which the Self-Realized are the grapes. The greatest mystery of the path and essence of Christ is however to be found in the mantra: Meínate en emói kagò en hymîn (pronounced ménate...), which Wulfila captures beautifully as "Wisaith in mis jah ik in izwis (pronounced Wîzzaith in mis, jach ik in îsuis, BE ME AND I YOU.
The core of Christ's final speech, however, is the mystery of the prodigal's son, the awaited spiritual teacher and helper. When Christ refers to him and talks about him, he hints at the Holy Spirit, which will come as the spirit of the new humanity. Christ further refers to him as the spirit of truth, whom the Father will send in his name, the prodigal, who goes forth from the Father, who will abide in and with the disciples of Christ. In certain other places, the Christ speaks of "that one", as if he wished to become condensed into an individual, so he would be able to speak through a forthcoming personality to the world and become a true guide for the disciples of Christ to remind them of everything which He has said. A marvelous secret lies hidden in the choice of words, which Jesus uses to refer to this coming prophet: Once he calls him the Holy Spirit, thrice the spirit of truth, four times the prodigal. However, then he refers to him five times with the demonstrative pronoun that one, which in many places where it appears in the Gospel refers to the essence of the individual as the spirit - he who has been embodied into or which is suspended over a personality. In connection with 'that one', it is mentioned that 'that one' is expelled as a teacher for mankind, that That One will lead the world to an awareness of its alienation from the spiritual dimension, along the path to the acquisition of higher being and recognition and through the necessary crisis resulting from the passing of a new sentence. (16:8,9). In all this, he shall glorify the Christ, for he shall create only of the Christ, and shall shew it unto you (16:14). The mysterious numerical symbols - one-three-four-five - are built into the construction of these holy sites. One finds the great trinity of the unity of God and world, the quaternion of the earth's geography, and the five-pointed star symbolizing the human being in the picture of the "Egyptian triangle", and in addition to the three-four-five, one finds the single eye of God in the middle, as well as the picture of the sun which orbits in the twelve spheres of the Zodiac (3+4+5=12).
However this spirit of world and God and man can only come to pass, because the Christ now prepares himself to take the step of death into the world of the Father. In this he cracks open the wellsprings of the spirit, which will then rise out of the bewitched material world. Man is called to be the eye of the earth for Heaven, and the eye of Heaven for the earth, otherwise the individual and mankind will be annihilated in the grave of the material realm. "A little while", and ye shall not see me with your inner eye: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me with your unenchanted gaze, because I go to the Father (16:16). It could hardly be more clearly expressed that mankind must destroy all faith and piety, that it must fight its way through atheism, nihilism, agnosticism in order on the other side of the desolation of the grave to find the Christ as the true God in man, the One Who abides within, as the temple of new humanity.
"Ye shall cry and have great sorrow, but your sorrow shall be transformed to joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world." (16:21) "This have I spoken to you, that you can find in me the balance of inner peace. In the world you suffer hardship, but have courage: the Self within me has overcome the world".
Finally we present the subsections of the final speech which were mentioned above:
|´aleph||revelation of the spiritual person||Introitus||13:31-33|
|beth||spiritual purpose of love||Evangelium||34-35|
|gimel||the path through solitude||Offertorium||36-38|
|daleth||entrance into the world of the Father||14:1-3|
|he||the spiritual path to trut||4-7|
|waw||the gift of the empowerment of the I||8-14|
|zajin||the coming spiritual warrior||15-17|
|heth||the keeper in the I||18-20|
|teth||the fulfillment of love||21-24|
|yod||the spiritual teacher||25-26|
|kaph||the kingly high priest, the hierophant||27-31a|
|lamed||the guide to higher being||Incensus||31b|
|mem||the consecrator||Transsubstantiatio||15, 1-10|
|samekh||the distributor of destiny||18-25|
|`ajin||the bewitchment of sight||26-27|
|pe||the speaker of truth||16, 1-4a|
|sadé||the bringer of communion with the spirit||Communion||4b-11|
|koph||the healer of the mind, senses||12-15|
|resh||the hidden head of mankind||16-24|
|shin||the carrier of the wisdom of the Resurrection||25-28|
|taw||the victory of love||Conclusion||29-33|
E. Transformation (10, 40-17, 26): The revelation of the
4. 13:31-16:33: the great Sacrament (final speech)
The seventeenth symbol:
Sound: p in word and syllable, otherwise f
Name: pê = mouth
Image: indicates a mouth with a simple line, also a downward stroke
The p symbolizes a metamorphosis, like a butterfly who emerges from the pupa. The entire power and authority of the word of the high priest is expressed in it. The divine mouth opens and brings about the most powerful inspiration, which had ever been given to mankind. The prayer of the high priest has the power to lead people through life and death. It is heard by the living and the dead. It is the prayer of the world, the prayer of transformation, in which Christ Himself is present. In it, the divine mouth is opened to the word out of which man lives, in which he finds his source, and through which he walks toward his own fulfillment and that of the world.
The prayer of the high priest appears at the point in the Gospel which corresponds to the point in the mass where the Lord's Prayer is spoken. It occurs at the conclusion of the transformation.
E. Transformation (10, 40-17, 26): The revelation of the
5. 17:1-26: the prayer of the high priest.
The eighteenth symbol:
Sound: S, a very sharp, emphatic s-sound pronounced behind the
lower incisors, in modern Hebrew, ts
Name: Sadé (tzadé) = fish hook
Image: a harpoon-like hook
The fish is caught with a fishhook and is prepared as food for people. The essence of the fish must be incorporated into the human being. This is the way man communicates with his redeemer the fish: he has to "eat his flesh and drink his blood" (J 6). In this way, the redeemer enters the inner essence of man. Intuition is fulfilled. It is communion with the being.
The capture of the fish is nevertheless the work of Ahriman, who forges the fish hook. The sound of this dull-sharp S is associated with the Scorpion, whose symbol M (try to insert here) resembles the Sadé. It refers to the one who really stands behind Caiaphas and Annas and works through them. Caiaphas means the "inquisitor"! He makes possible the communion of mankind by ordering that Jesus of Nazareth be captured.
The figure of Judas Iscariot, who commits treason in the night by insighting the high priests to capture Jesus, the kiss with which he betrays him to the bailiffs, his subsequent suicide - all of this is associated with the dark secret of the Scorpion. Over the Scorpion, however, there also abides a promise that he will be transformed to an eagle. Over the dark ego, - the force of deadening evil - rises the eagle of John the apostle. Whoever can make use of evil on the spiritual path to align himself as necessary, can also transcend it. Do Caiaphas and Annas understand the necessity of that which they help to bring about? They can understand it as people who were initiated in "the passing year"???? (18:14). In this manner, the Christ made possible the fulfillment of their path through the fulfillment of his own.
F. Communion (18, 1-20, 31): the mystery of Golgotha
1. 18, 1-27: imprisonment of Jesus of Nazareth
The nineteenth symbol:
Sound: q/k, a k-sound pronounced deep in the throat
Name: qoph/koph = the back of the head
Image: the arch of a skull with a cross
In the skull of man, the crucifixion of his innermost being takes place. The consciousness of man has shifted in the course of his development from the pineal gland (epiphyse) which is the original eye of the sun in other conscious organisms to the center of nerves at the back of the head. In the process, he has acquired the capacity for rational thought, but has won it at the expense of the ancient gift of divine wisdom and natural sight. Mankind now resembles the man who walks from Jerusalem (the pineal gland) to Jericho (the city of the moon, the center of nerves at the back of the head), and who is overcome and robbed by thieves along the way.
Now man in the guise of Pontius Pilate stands robbed and plundered before his true inner being and asks the question posed by his mind, his mere understanding: "What is truth?" He trembles secretly trying to control by dark force this otherwise so intelligent and powerful 'I' which he has become accustomed to, feeling his ultimate insecurity before the true person, which appears before him now as the powerless prisoner, "Behold, the human being."
In the dark, hard k-sound (compare letter 11 kaph, the 'light' k-sound) lives the royal adversary of the king of truth. Here stands the civil servant of the kaiser - the Hebrew word for caesar-kaiser is KaSar, which is written with this K-sound. And nonetheless, the nervous system of the being actually experiences a consecration through the guilt, which he had to fall prey to. Without a doubt, it has its place in the course of the great communion of the world which is being prepared here. This consecration takes place of itself: Pilate delivers the Christ to the cross at the skull, even though he is convinced of his innocence, even though he even acknowledges him as the Son of Man. He does it ostensibly in order to calm the crowds of Jews, who pervert the pride of their nation - this Son of Man, this king of the Jews - into its opposite: we have no king but the kaiser! In fact, however, he does it, because the scriptures must be fulfilled: the cross has to be erected at the skull, the cross, that is to be found under the covering of the skull, and which symbolizes the spinal column: The serpent is raised upon the cross (3:14), which stands at the base of the skull.
According to ancient Greek mythological traditions, the centaur is the rational person who is lifting himself out of pure submission to his drives, but who is still strongly bound to them. He seeks out the stream of grace, which shall free him completely and which he releases through his wound. The wound is mortal, but it sets in motion the life force. The k-sound is associated with protection; this is the centaur. The picture of the koph is a cross covered by the crown of the skull. This can also be viewed as an inverted Grail. The intersection of the lines in the cross seems to symbolize the center of nerves at the back of the head. Here within where death reigns is where the preparation for release through death is made: in the interior of the skull where the streams cross which bring about the death of consciousness in the nervous system, that is also where the resurrection takes place of one who has entered the realm of the dead in order to overcome it from within. Therefore the name of Pilate who has to carry out this act as if in the "superior court" is always mentioned in the confession of faith: suffered under Pontius Pilate...
F. Communion (18, 1-20, 31): the mystery of Golgotha
2. 18:28-19:16a: the trial of Jesus, Pilate
The twentieth symbol:
Sound: r (pronounced with the tip of the tongue)
Name: rêsh = head
Image: a very simple head erected in a triangular frame
The erect head of the Rêsh can be viewed as an upright victory flag or standard. The triangle which we encountered in the first four symbols of the alphabet has been raised to the cross, the head of the new man. It is erected to the victory which can overthrow the world and raise it anew through the power of the will. This is the consecration of the world, which the cosmic I brings about through the power of death and resurrection and through wisdom. And in this, the path of earthly life is fulfilled.
In the r-sound (rolled r!), the faces of spiritual beings look into us. They have devoted themselves to this work (RSt????). The r rolls around, and brings the will into motion. The cosmos is given new motion. The wheel rolls upwards in a new direction, in order to carry mankind and earth upward to the realms of eternal light, eternal life, eternal love. Nonetheless, man is now responsible for whether this goal is reached. The gods await man's free action, which arises out of courageous understanding. The face of Michael, our guide to freedom, looks out at us through the head.
In another way, again in connection with the first letter ´Aleph (Letter.1) the theme of the bull is also present in r: the world is newly consecrated by the power of the will which has been purified by a new way of thinking, by the power of the newly mastered divinity in language, and which arises out of the strength and uprightness of the spirit who acts as witness.
F. Communion (18, 1-20, 31): the mystery of Golgotha
3. 19:16b-42: the mystery of earthly communion (crucifixion).
The twenty first symbol:
Name: shîn and ´sîn = tooth
Image: pronged tooth
Man now steps before the deepest and most holy mystery of his being. It accompanies him secretly though all the passing events of his incarnate life. It provides him with the earthly and cosmic wisdom, which will awaken and be resurrected in human thought. Through centuries, the tooth was been regarded as the symbol of the conscious, rational, earthly wisdom, toward which all divine acts are directed: after the teeth have been replaced, the forces in the child's organism are released, which empower him to take up this path toward understanding of the world.
The sh-sound symbolizes the transitoriness of the flesh. We experience ourselves to be condemned through our existence to a world of illusion, which holds our being captive in guilt. The life in the flesh implies alienation from the spiritual world. The flesh at death becomes dust and ashes, just as the grass wilts and dries up. There appears to be nothing which grants longevity, which leads to true being. However now man can raise himself out of the shadows of his external existence, like the Phoenix, who itself prepared the fire of extermination, and then reborn rises out of its own ashes into a new life. And man can expand to think in terms of the eternity of being through all time. The miracle does occur: This 'I' who is submerged in the bloody fire at birth, this 'I' who through selfishness brings the divine in him to destruction and death, this very 'I' can experience the fire of death transformed into the fire of inner rebirth, out of which this 'I' rises step by step to new life in grace and truth. This can only happen on the foundation of Christ's sacrifice, through the fact of the resurrection, which thinks through us when we incorporate this miracle into ourselves. This is resurrected thought, since it releases itself from bondage to the body out of the power of the resurrection. This thought can be developed in us, and can continue to live in us as a force, which essentially transforms us, which burns us and melts us until we know true being. God is resurrected in the person who has gone through the fire of death and destiny to the fire of consecration. He extracts the dust of matter out of the pure essential thought, which arises as true being. God and man have become one. The earth has become wise. It has incorporated true "matter", which has been purified by fire. Earthly communion is now complete. Christ, the Logos is truly in the flesh: He is the 'I' of the earth. The earth is his body.
If the individual 'I' in spiritual ecstasy weaves into itself, burns into itself the Christ-I it gains a wisdom which helps to resurrect the dying, fallen earth.
In Hebrew, the word for sun is shèmèsh; the word for the sky which in the Orient shines through everything is shâmájim. The name of the inner mystery of fire the ancients still experienced as the essential fire is shêm. The fire - ´êsh - contains the sh, which itself sounds as though it were infused with holy fire. Its Hebrew symbol looks like a three-tongued fire. With both hands raised in the Shin-symbol - thumbs, pointer and middle fingers together, and ring and pinkie finger together, the priest blesses in the name of the Shaddái - the shaker of the soul, which thereby brings peace - Shalôm. Another Hebrew word describes the essence of love as "shalhèbèth-Jâh", which means: the flame of the I (high song 8:6). In such words, the sh-sound can be experienced as a sound of fire, about which Christ says in an apocryphal sentence: "He who is near me is near to the fire; he who is distant from me is far from the Kingdom". The Christ is the true fire, through which all humankind must pass, that everything transient should be consumed by it. He is also the Phoenix, who will rise burning as the new human being in the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth.
Internalization of what is external, transformation of what is material: this is the mystical and chemical nature of the resurrection. In the dual nature of the symbol as Shîn and as ´Sîn, as "dark" and as "light" sh is experienced as the fire of destruction as well as the fire of new creation: death is transition and resurrection.
F. Communion (18, 1-20, 31): the mystery of Golgotha
4. 20,1-31: the mystical chemical fact of the Resurrection.
The twenty second symbol:
Sound: t (th)
Name: tâw = cross, sign
Image: sign of a cross
The consecration of the cosmos has been completed. It has occurred within the human being - the new mankind on earth - who walks into the future. The Christ as Logos walks within it creating the future. Its goal is the love which frees the world through the understanding that overcomes death.
This softer t sound (compare the 9th letter têth) suggests a new fulfillment through the gentle swaying of the spirit. The symbol of the cross on the forehead of a humanity which has been marked with guilt and purified through the atonement is the symbol of the holy and healing spirit, which encompasses the progressive portion of mankind, that portion which one labels as Cain - as opposed to the pious, regressed Abel-Seth branch. The symbol Taw is the Faustian Cain-symbol, the guilty symbol, the symbol of the person who has been purified by knowing guilt, who can no longer fall back into evil. The murderous weapon of Cain, the hammer of Thor-Donar, has been transformed into the power of the free creative 'I', which masters life and matter through awareness, who fashions and regulates anew; it is the "I's" priestly power of the king, its kingly power of the priest, in which understanding through wisdom and understanding through love intersect.
In the book of Ezekiel (9:6), it is described how at the time of the catastrophe of Judgement, the angels would write a Taw on the foreheads of those who would pass on through and not be sentenced. In Hebrew, a verb is formed from the word Taw: hitwîta taw, really "to taw" a taw. Also the mark of Cain is written as a Taw.
By means of Christ's crucifixion, the seed of this liberating intersection in mankind is planted; mankind is placed into the earth. The world, as Wulfila puts it, becomes "sown with man" (manaseths). The earth has been marked with the Taw. The Taw, the symbol of the cross at the end of the alphabet is the victory sign of realized love, which God releases into man, and which He makes public at the end of time. This is the great path of the Logos in the future of the world. This Taw stands at the end of this mysterious sequence of symbols in the primordial alphabet, at whose beginning stands the symbol of origination in the Logos. A holy path has come full circle. It encompasses the consecration of the world from its origin until its fulfillment in God. Its fulfillment is realized love.
G. Departure (21:1-25): epilogue
21:1-25: the path of the Logos in the future of the world.