Updated: New Ending 6.10.23
Separating the Wheat from the Chaff in Humanity
In the beginning of creation, the Omniscient Creator understood that all good stories in a third-dimensional reality require good guys who play by the rules and a villain who opposes the natural order of things and who is always and forever antagonizing the good guys. And so, in the symbolic story of Adam and Eve, the opposing forces in the creation of the world, are represented by the Serpent, i.e. the serpentine force of Self Will. Whereas, Adam and Eve and their descendants chose to follow the Divine Will of the Creator.
For clarification, the living symbolism of the creation story is not fantasy or myth as many on the opposing serpentine-side would have us believe. Adam represents the primordial human body which was created with divine light in the image and likeness of the Creator with spiritual potential beyond our present ability to conceive. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ often referred to as the “second Adam,” revealed to humanity the spiritual potential of the Adamic body. We humans occupy the same body-type with all its divine potential, and at present, some of us are in the process of awakening and developing our spiritual nature.
When the Divine Hierarchy, the YHVH-Elohim, created the primordial matrix of the Adamic human body, they said, “To be is to love because being alone is to love only oneself. Now, it is not good that Adam should be alone because it is not good that man loves nobody but himself.” This is why YHVH-Elohim said, “We will make him a helper which is similar (corresponding) to him.” And, as Eve was fashioned from Adam’s body of light, he loved her as himself.
Eve was therefore the being nearest to Adam, the “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23). All forms of love (friendship, paternal love, maternal love, filial love, brotherly love and charity) derive from the same unique primordial root of the Adam-Eve couple. For it is that special love, the reality of the other, that issued forth and subsequently branched out and diversified. It is the warmth of love of the first couple which is reflected in the love of parents for their children, and reflected, in turn, in the love of children for their parents, and again, in the love of children amongst themselves, and in the love for all kinship of human beings; and by analogy, for all that lives and breathes. Divine Love once born as substance and intensity, tends to spread and diversify according to the forms of human relationships into which it enters. It is a cascading current which tends to fill and inundate all, so later, they love their husbands and wives, as their parents once loved one another. This is what it means “to love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Three Vows & Three Temptations
Adam and Eve were not conscious of “naked” things in their Edenic paradise, i.e. things separated from God. The principle expressing their perception is, “That which is above is as that which is below, and that which is below is as that which is above;” there was no experience of separation in Eden. Thus, although they “were both naked,” they felt no shame because they saw the divine ideal expressing itself through phenomenal reality. This is vertical consciousness, i.e. simultaneous knowledge of the divine ideal and the real; these are the universal principles found in the Emerald Tablet of Hermes.
The formula of horizontal consciousness of the serpent would be that of realism, pure and simple: “That which is in me is as that which is outside of me, and that which is outside of me is as that which is in me.” This is horizontal consciousness (simultaneous knowledge of the subjective and the objective), which sees things not in God, but separated from him or “naked” within itself, through itself and for itself. And as the personal self here replaces God (horizontal consciousness being that of the opposition of subject and object), the serpent says that on the day when Adam-Eve eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge which is in the middle of the garden, their eyes will open and they will be as gods, i.e. the personal self will replace the function previously filled by God and they will know good and evil. Before, they saw things in divine light, now, they will see them in their own light, i.e. the function of illumination will belong to them, just as once it belonged to God. The source of the light will be transferred from God to mankind.
There are the three vows and the three corresponding temptations which symbolically is the practical doctrine of the hexagram. The three vows are, in essence, memories of paradise, where Adam was united with God (obedience), where he possessed everything at once (poverty), and where his companion was at one and the same time his wife, his friend, his sister and his mother (chastity). For the real presence of God necessarily entails the action of prostrating oneself in the face of Him “who is more me than I myself am” and here lies the root and source of the vow of obedience.
The vision of the forces, substances and essences of the world in the guise of the “garden of divine symbols” (Eden), signifies the possession of everything without choosing, without laying hold of, or without appropriating any particular thing isolated from the whole; and here lies the root and source of the vow of poverty. And lastly, total communion between two, between one and another. This union comprises the entire range of all possible relationships of spirit, soul and body between two polarized beings. This constitutes the absolute wholeness of spiritual, psychic, and physical beings in love, and here lies the root and source of the vow of chastity. One is chaste only when one loves with the totality of one’s being. Chastity is not wholeness of being in indifference, but rather in the love which is “as strong as death” and whose flashes are flashes of fire, the flame of the Eternal; it is living unity.
The voice of the serpent is that of the living (“human animal”) being whose intelligence is most advanced (“the most artful”) among all living beings (“animals”) whose consciousness is turned towards the horizontal (“animals of the fields”). Now before the Fall, the intelligence of Adam-Eve was vertical; their eyes were not yet “opened”, and they “were both naked, but were not ashamed”, i.e. they were conscious of everything vertically - from above to below, or in other words, in God, through God and for God.
This was the temptation that Eve heard in listening to the voice of the serpent. Its essence is the principle of power, which is autonomy from the light of consciousness. And Eve listened to the voice of the serpent and this voice was as audible to her as the other voice. She therefore heard two voices, two inspirations arising from contrary sources. Here is the origin and the principle of doubt. Doubt is twofold inspiration. When one is in doubt, one is induced to make experiments in order to dispel it, but one must surmount it by raising oneself to a higher plane. Faith is a single inspiration. Certainty vanquishes doubt; it is faith regained.
Obedience - the principle of obedience is devotion without reserve to the sole voice from above. Now, the very fact that Eve listened to another voice than that from above, that she compared the two voices, i.e. considered them as if they belonged to the same plane(and therefore she doubted), this very fact was an act of spiritual disobedience and was the root cause and beginning of the Fall. To be induced to seek experience is the beginning and the principle of greed, the principle opposed to poverty. Here is the third phase of the temptation and the third stage of the Fall: it is to escape from doubt by plunging into experience and making the other take part. Here is the beginning and the principle of unchastity. It is contrary to the principle of chastity because to seek experiences or to make experiments based on doubt is the very essence of carnal, psychic and spiritual unchastity.
One has experiences, of course, but one does not make experiments because it would be contrary to the holy vow of chastity to put forward a hand and to take from the Tree of Knowledge. The spiritual world does not suffer experimenters. One seeks, one asks, one knocks at its door, but one does not open it by willful force. One waits for it to be opened. The Christian doctrine and experience of grace expresses the very essence of chastity, just as it also contains the principles of poverty and obedience. It is the doctrine concerning chaste relationships between that which is below and that which is above. God is not an object and neither is He an object of knowledge. He is the source of illumination and revelatory grace. He cannot be grasped, but He can certainly reveal himself.
Here we have chastity, poverty and obedience underlying the Christian doctrine and the experience of grace. All Christian esotericism, including here, all its mysticism, gnosis and magic, is founded on the experience and doctrine of grace, one of the results of which is initiation. Initiation is an act of grace from above. It cannot be achieved or produced by any technical outer or inner procedures. One does not initiate oneself; one becomes initiated.
Just as the light of the sun allows us to see the things of the physical world, the light of the spiritual sun – grace – allows us to see what is brought about from the spiritual world. Now, the principle of grace underlies earthly life as well as spiritual life. It is wholly below and above ruled by the laws of obedience, poverty and chastity. Is not the air which surrounds us a perfect analogy for gratuitously bestowed grace? We live in the spirit, a vivifying spirit is necessary and that is the air of spiritual respiration. The lungs know to breathe and they obey. The lungs know to breathe in and breathe out. The very process of breathing teaches the laws of obedience, poverty and chastity, i.e. it is a lesson (by analogy) in grace.
It is a matter: of daring to ask, of the will to seek, of being silent in order to knock and of knowing when it is opened to you. For knowledge does not happen automatically; it is what is revealed when the door is opened. This is the formula of the synthesis of effort and grace, of the principle of work and that of receptivity, and, lastly, of merit and gift. This synthesis enunciates the absolute law of all spiritual progress and, consequently, all spiritual discipline.
The antichrist, the ideal of biological and historical evolution without grace, is not an individuality or entity created by God, but rather a phantom god (egregore)generated through the biological and historical evolution opened up by the serpent, who is the author and master of the biological and historical evolution that science studies and teaches. The antichrist is the ultimate product of this evolution without grace and not an entity created by God – the act of divine creation being always, without exception, an act of grace. He is therefore an artificial entity who owes his existence to a collective ideology generated from below by human ignorance.
The antichrist is a phantom of the whole of mankind, the being engendered through the whole historical evolution of humanity. He is the “superman” who haunts the consciousness of all those who seek to elevate themselves through their own effort, without grace. He appeared to Friedrich Nietzsche and showed him “in an instant all the kingdoms of the world” which have existed, exist and will exist, in the circle of eternal return; he invited him to cast himself down into the domain which is beyond good and evil and to embrace and announce the gospel of evolution, the gospel of the will-to-power; this, and this alone (“God is dead”), transforms stone (inorganic matter) into bread (organic matter), and organic matter into animal, and animal into man, and man into superman, who is beyond good and evil and who obeys only his own will.
He appeared to Karl Marx and showed him “in an instant all the kingdoms of the world” where all the slaves of the past are transformed into sovereign masters who no longer obey either God, having dethroned him, or Nature, having subjugated her, and who eat their bread which they owe solely to their own knowledge and effort in transforming stone into bread. And the phantom of humanity has appeared to many others. He appeared also to the Son of Man in the desert. This was the encounter of Divine Law made flesh through Christ and the biological, historical and evolutionary law of the serpent attempting to fashion its own soulless soul.
Divine Law is grace; it is the activity descending from the Holy Trinity which was revealed forty days before the temptation in the wilderness, when the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan was accomplished by John the Baptist. The law of the serpent is the action of the will moving gropingly forward, snaking through epochs and layers of biological evolution, passing from form to form; it is the triad of the will-to-power, the “groping trial” and the transformation of that which is gross into that which is subtle.
Vertical trinitarian grace and the triadic spirit of horizontal evolution met in the consciousness of the Son of Man forty days after the baptism in the Jordan. There the three temptations of the Son of Man took place. And just as the baptism in the Jordan is the prototype of the Holy Sacrament of Baptism, so is the meeting of grace (received at the baptism in the Jordan) with the quintessence of the evolutionary impulse since the Fall, the prototype of the Holy Sacrament of Confirmation. For it is then that grace from above is firmly established against the law from below; it is then that evolution gives way to grace.
The three temptations of the Son of Man in the wilderness were his experience of the directing impulses of evolution, namely the will-to-power, the “groping trial” and the transformation of the gross into the subtle. They signify at the same time the test of the three vows - the vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. It is with the last trial that Matthew begins his account of the temptation of Jesus Christ. For the celestial fullness (pleroma) which descended at the time of the baptism in the Jordan brought with it the corresponding terrestrial emptiness (kenoma), which is expressed in the Gospel account by the solitude, the wilderness and the fasting.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry. Hunger of the spirit, the soul and the body is the experience of emptiness or poverty. It is therefore the vow of poverty which is put to the test when “the tempter came and said to him: If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread” (Matthew 4:3). “Command these stones to become loaves of bread,” this is the very essence of the aspiration of humanity in the scientific epoch, namely to victory over poverty. Synthetic resins, synthetic rubber, synthetic fiber, synthetic vitamins, synthetic proteins, and eventually synthetic bread!
“Command these stones to become bread,” this is the formula of evolution in the sense of “transformism” belonging to the mentality of some academics, who teach that the plant kingdom (i.e. “bread”) is only a transformation of the mineral kingdom (i.e. “these stones”), and that consequently organic matter (“bread”) is only the result of the physical and chemical regrouping of little molecules into giant molecules (“macromolecules”) in the process of polymerization. Polymerization is therefore considered today by a number of scientists as the possible, even probable, equivalent of the operation proposed by the tempter in the wilderness, namely the transformation of stones into bread.
This operation proposed by the tempter is at the same time the dominant motif of the doctrines overrunning the world today which regard the economic life as primary and the spiritual life as secondary. Today’s ideological superstructure is organized upon the economic basis: that which is below is primary and that which is above is secondary, since it is matter which engenders spirit. Such is the dogma commonly underlying “economics’” and “transformism” and the statement made by the tempter to the Son of Man. And this was Jesus’ reply to this dogma: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
This verse expresses, in the first place, the very essence of the vow of poverty. For the vow of poverty is to live as much from the word which comes from the mouth of God as it is from the bread which enters the mouth of man. This means to say that not only the spirit and the soul of man are able to live and to receive impulses, forces and substances from above, but also his body. Here is its principal implication: as the law of evolution and the law of the serpent comprises the struggle for existence, and as “bread” or food is the principal factor in the struggle for existence, the fact of the entry of grace into human history through Jesus Christ signifies, at the same time, the possibility of gradually abolishing the struggle for existence. It is therefore the vow of poverty which will abolish it.
This is the “groping trial” to which natural evolution owes much. Since the Fall, it is the method of so-called natural evolution which has replaced the Edenic paradise created by God. Evolution proceeds gropingly from form to form, trying and rejecting, then trying anew. However, the world of evolution from protozoa to vertebrates and from vertebrates to mammals and then to apes is neither the accomplishment of absolute wisdom nor absolute goodness. It is rather the work of a really vast biological intelligence and a very resolute will pursuing a definite aim determined by the methods of trial and error.
One could say it is a matter more of a great scientific intellect and the will of an experimenter which is revealed in natural evolution, rather than divine wisdom and goodness. The tableau of evolution that the natural sciences – above all biology – have at last obtained as the result of prodigious work reveals to us, without any doubt, the work of a very subtle, but imperfect, intellect and a very determined, but imperfect, will. It is therefore the serpent, “the most artful animal of the fields”, that the world of biological evolution reveals to us, and not God. It is the serpent who is the “prince of this world,” and who is the author and director of the purely biological evolution following the Fall.
Now, the tempter proposed to the Son of Man the method to which he owes his existence: the trial. “Throw yourself down and it will be seen if it is true that you are the Son of God and that you are not as I am, the son of evolution, the son of the serpent.” This was the temptation of chastity. For, as we have shown above, the spirit of chastity excludes all trial. The trial is the very essence of what the Bible designates as “fornication.” Fornication, as every other vice and also every virtue, is threefold: spiritual, psychic and carnal. Its root is spiritual; the region of its deployment and growth is that of the soul; and the flesh is simply the domain where it fructifies. It is thus that spiritual error becomes vice and vice becomes sickness.
The prophets of Israel stigmatized the spiritual fornication of the people of the Old Alliance each time that they let themselves be seduced by the cults of “strange gods,” Bel, Moloch and Astarte. These gods were only egregore creatures of the collective human imagination and will, while the Holy One of Israel was the revealed God, unimaginable though he was, having no other relationship with the human will than that of the Law imposed upon it.
The principle of spiritual fornication is therefore the preference of the subconscious to the conscious and superconscious, of instinct to the Law, and of the world of the serpent to the world of the WORD. Just as the first two temptations are directed at the vows of holy poverty and holy chastity, so is the third temptation directed at the vow of holy obedience. This time it is a matter of the will-to-power. The elements of this temptation are: the very high mountain, all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, worship of he who has the power to rise to the top of the mountain and there to give possession of everything in the kingdoms of his world.
It is a matter, therefore, of accepting the ideal of the superman (“fall down and worship me”), who is the summit of evolution (“he took him to a very high mountain”) and who, having passed through the mineral, plant, animal and human kingdoms and subjecting them to his power, is to lord over them, i.e. he is their final cause or aim and ideal, their representative or their masterof the collective concentrated will, and he has taken their subsequent evolution into his hands. Now, the choice here is between the ideal of the superman, who is “as God”, and God himself. Holy obedience is therefore faithfulness to the living God himself; revolt or disobedience to God is the decision taken in favor of the superman, who personifies the will-to-power.
The paradise of Adam-Eve and the reality of the serpent evoke a whole range of ideas of the three temptations and the three vows with the three temptations in paradise and those in the wilderness being inseparable in reality just as the three vows are also. One cannot be “chaste” without being “poor” and “obedient,” just as one cannot renounce the divine ideal in favor of the ideal of the superman without at the same time falling into the region of trial (experimentation), where there is no immediate certainty, and into the region of the law of the serpent formulated as follows: “You shall go upon your belly and you shall eat dust all the days of your life,” i.e. the region where there is no grace. But what is the immediate consequence of resisting temptation? The Gospel account gives the answer here, as follows: Then the devil left him, and behold, Angels came and ministered unto him.
The Fullness of His Glory
The Son of Man resisted being moved by the three temptations in the wilderness; consequently, it is he who set into motion the forces which came to serve him; “…behold, the Angels came and ministered unto him.” This divine nourishment and healing by the Angels represents one of the fundamental principles of sacred law: That which is above is as that which is below, therefore, renunciation below sets into motion forces of accomplishment above, and the renunciation of that which is above sets into motion forces of accomplishment below.
In other words, when one resists the temptations of this world and renounces something strongly desired below, one sets into motion, by this personal discipline, forces of realization which correspond above to that which one has renounced below. It is in this action of the sacred law or sacred magic that Jesus designated by the word “reward” when he said that it is necessary to guard against practicing righteousness before other people in order to gain their regard, “for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 6:1). Reward is therefore the action one sets in motion above by the renunciation of desire for things below. It is a “yes” from above which is initiated by the “no” from below.
This correspondence with the divine constitutes a basis for sacred realization and for a fundamental law of Christian esotericism or Hermeticism. We must guard against taking this lightly, for here is given to us one of the key principals of sacred magic (remember sacred magic makes possible the transubstantiation of Holy Communion). It is not desire which bears magical realization, but rather the renunciation of the desire one had formerly experienced. For renunciation through indifference has no moral or magical value.
Understanding that one has to renounce what one desires amounts to saying that one has to practice the three sacred vows of obedience, poverty and chastity. For the renunciation must be sincere in order for it to set in motion the forces of realization from above, and it cannot be so when it lacks the air, light and warmth of the sacred vows. It is imperative to understand that there is no true sacred magic outside of the three sacred vows; the operation of sacred magic is essentially the practice of the three vows.
“And behold, the Angels came…to him,” i.e. now they were able to approach him, since the space necessary for their descent became free. The Angels were unable to approach the Son of Man during the time when the concentrated forces of terrestrial evolution – “the forces of the serpent” – were active. They “occupied” the space around the Son of Man, so the Angels were unable to breathe, and therefore, they were unable to enter there without “fainting.” But as soon as “the devil left him” and the atmosphere changed, they were able to approach him, and did so.
Just as the three Kings offered their presents to the new-born Christ child – gold, frankincense and myrrh – so did the three Angels each offer presents to the Master after his Baptism in the Jordan and his Confirmation in the wilderness. The crown of gold, the breath of incense from the throne of God and the divine word become food. This is what happened immediately after the three temptations in the wilderness. This was the response from above to the threefold renunciation by the Son of Man below. But what was the effect of the vanquished temptations not only for the vanquisher himself, but also for the outside world and for the future?
The effect here was mastership of the world of the four elements, and what took place in the course of time was the seven archetypal miracles described in the Gospel according to John, i.e. the miracle at the wedding of Cana, the miracle of the healing of the nobleman’s son, the miracle of the healing of the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda, the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, the miracle of walking on the water, the miracle of the healing of the man born blind and the miracle of the raising of Lazarus at Bethany.
And to the manifestation of these seven aspects of mastership or “glory” there corresponds the revelation of the seven aspects of the name of the Master: “I am the true vine”, “I am the way, the truth and the life”, “I am the door”, “I am the bread of life”, “I am the good shepherd”, “I am the light of the world” and “I am the resurrection and the life.” This is the rainbow of seven colors of the manifestation of “glory” or mastership and also the octave of the seven tones of revelation of the “name” or mission of the vanquisher of the three temptations. And this rainbow shone around the empty and somber place in the wilderness where the temptations took place. The seven miracles of the Gospel according to John are, in their totality, the “glory” or splendor of the victory of the three sacred vows over the three temptations.
Here, at the same time, is a beautiful piece of qualitative mathematics: the threefold good, when it prevails over the threefold evil, it produces seven-fold good, while when the threefold evil prevails over the threefold good, it only produces threefold evil. For the good is only qualitative, and when it is able to manifest itself, it manifests itself wholly, in its indivisible fullness. This is what the number seven is – fullness (pleroma) or, when it manifests itself as “glory,” which St. John speaks of when he says: “And we have beheld his glory…and from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace” (John 1:14,16). And the first miracle was the wedding at Cana, and this was the beginning of the manifestation of the fullness of His “glory.”