The Journey as an inner itinerary towards initiatory transformation
And a short analysis of the meaning of the Masonic Secret
Index: The Middle Chamber - [Osiris and Isis] - [Correspondences of the number Seven] - From speculation to fulfillment - [Layman, Mason, Initiate] - The symbol-words AUM and OM - «He of whom nothing can be said» - [Coincidence of the opposites]
The Middle Chamber
The Middle Chamber, like the half-Light, typifies a precise level of Human Initiation, viz. the level of Reason and Logics, which in the allegory is situated between the Forces of Darkness (ignorance and profane error) and the Power of Light (initiatory Wisdom); the latter is represented by the figure of the Master of all Masters, Hiram. He is the living symbol of the initiatory spirituality addressed to the Humankind, in order to stimulate and accelerate its progress in the evolutionary line. The esoteric meaning of «Initiation» is indeed to shorten the (otherwise) passive evolutionary process by accelerating it. It is called passive as well as natural, but only in the kingdoms lacking the «will» element.
Master Hiram is the inner Sun hidden in the «Mysteries of Horus-Osiris»* that lavishes his «Life» (Light) into the Initiate through a Bridge of seven sounds and seven colors. The Seven Secret Masters, as many as the sacred Planets through which the Solar Logos works in its Temple, the Solar System, with the help of Nine Executors, as many as the levels of manifestation in its Great Work. These Seven Secret Masters** reach man by reflecting themselves into his occult physiology in seven energetic ganglia or Centers which the easterners call chakra. The nine levels and the seven Centers are also shown in the Sephirothic Tree.
* Osiris and Isis of the Greater and Solar "Mysteries" find their microcosmic correspondence in Hiram-Solomon and AdonHiram, which "reflects"' their will in the microcosm of the Masonic Temple. The latter is notoriously both the Symbol of the planetary Logos and of the occult physiology of the Adam-Man that is placed in the Sephirothic Tree on the Floor, among the Pillars J and B. It is not our intention to upset all of a sudden the suppositions of the young researcher originated from the allegories of the Lesser Catechisms, therefore we will only suggest to him that AdonHiram, in the strictest orthodoxy, is the contraction of Adonai-Hiram; and Adonai, Hè-do-na-i, is the esoteric reduction of Yahwè, J e H o W a H, the Tetragram that hides the Ineffable Name (see also ABRAXAS). May the young researcher develop this short indication further if he wishes, may he find its analogies and convey them in the suitable proportions in the "Legend" that he knows; from this speculative operation an indication will arise, which will probably surprise him and that will definitely widen his speculative boundaries on the initiatory meanings "placed"' in that Legend. He must also remember, again, if he wishes to do so, that the rule wisely mentioned by Eliphas Levi, according to which «all religions and sciences go back to a unique Science, always hidden to the ordinary masses and passed on from an epoch to another, from an Initiate to another, under the veil of fables and symbols» and this "is true" completely, included the Legends placed into the Lesser Catechisms by the Master Builders of Freemasonry.
**Correspondences of the number Seven - «Life built the house where you now live (the physical body, Note of the Author) and the seven Planets that live in it will not all ascend to the domain of Light (only the three higher ones, Note of the Author)» - Nazarene Code, II, 35.
«The seven orbits are the Seven Principles, the three couples with the house of flesh»; «The Caldeans call him God IAO SABAOTH, He who is above the Seven Orbits - the Demiurge» - Lydus de Mens IV, 38/74
«Ray of Sun that made the brightest Light shine in front of Thebes of the Seven Doors, you have finally thrown a spark of light, eye of the golden Day» - Sophocles, Antigone.
Thebes, earthly, of the Seven doors, like Jerusalem, heavenly, of the twelve doors, are in the symbolic language the allegory of an initiatory status where the "essential body" of the initiate is represented with the symbolic image of a city with 4 doors when we want to refer to the four elements that make its essential manifestation; the doors become seven when we refer to the seven energetic centers linked to the seven sacred Planets and finally twelve doors, when the Initiate has reached, at the apex of his success, the correspondence with the whole Zodiac, clockwise the lesser and anticlockwise the greater, the Motion or Activity of the Archetype One-God manifested, called the Great Architect of the Universe.
The physical or, if we like, manifested and exoteric counterpart, of Horus-Hiram is gathered in the figure of king Solomon (Ars Regia), symbol of the human and royal Initiate by definition.
From speculation to fulfillment
If an adept really wanted to face his own personal Work, he will have to start from the occult work of transmutation of his own metals, which is experienced only virtually in his first initiation.
The adept, then, will immediately have to face not an easy modification of his initiatory presuppositions, having to replace the habit of speculation with the ability of fulfillment. This is a necessary transposition in order to go from symbolic virtuality of theory to the reality of the operative execution of Initiation.
This already appears as not an easy problem to resolve.
The purpose of the Masonic System is to prepare the adept to an inner work , through which he will transform his initiation from exterior and symbolic into effective. Indeed, the ancient Rule states: «The Initiation Ceremony expresses an achievement but doesn't bestow it».
With the first initiation the Hierophants introduced to the Mysteries the layman who had satisfied the trials required by the System; with the second he recognized the resolution of the personal Work and finally, with the third initiation, he accepted him in the rank of Initiates, after they recognized him deserving thanks to the levels of knowledge reached and achieved. All the School of Greater Mysteries recognize three initiatory levels which, blending the various terms with equal meaning, we can call the «Br. Introduced (into the Lesser Mysteries), Elder Brother or Wise man (Greater Mysteries) and Perfect (Initiate)».
It is said in an esoteric Commentary:
«Initiation is not a ceremony or a rite, neither a degree bestowed to whoever is deserving nor a means to penetrate the Ancient Mysteries of which the Masonic Mysteries are, for the moment, nothing but their symbolic representation. The Initiation is the result of vital experiences on all three levels of conscience, physical, emotional and mental, through which we can activate certain cerebral cells able to record and keep higher impressions to which we were not sensitive beforehand. Thanks to this new wider sphere of perceptions or, if you prefer, to the development of the instrument of response up to make it more sensitive, the mind acquires the ability to transmit higher values and spiritual knowledge. In such a way man becomes aware of the sphere of divine existence and states of conscience that are eternally present but which he wasn't constitutionally able to get in touch with, or even to record them. Neither the mind nor its instrument, the brain, could have done it before this point in their development. When the reflector of the mind (the Speculum of the Initiate) slowly penetrates those Aspects of the divine Mind that it ignored beforehand, when the magnetic qualities of the heart re-awaken and respond to the other Two divine Aspects (Intellect and Will), man is able to live in the new sphere of Light (Wisdom, Strength and Beauty) that opens up before him; he is Initiated.»
Let's now identify, through a diagram, the initiatory journey of transmutation and the four levels that express it. The scholar will be able to find a first perfunctory link between the principles implied in the first four initiatory questions of: who I am, where I come from, where I go and why.
It will be appropriate for him to follow the four vertical journeys first and then the horizontal ones:
Diagram of the initiatory journey of transmutation
* Layman, Mason, Initiate - Here we have a concept that is known and confirmed, viz. the principle where an adept, although initiated (in actual fact only accepted), until he considers himself as a separate identity circumscribed and personal «I am this and they are that», a reality separated from the Principles of the Order that he hasn't been able to assimilate and transmit "entirely" without personal digressions, he will keep all the characteristics, although conceptually elevated, that typify the essence of the Profane man. This is the modern transliteration of an ancient initiatory Precept, which was in turn conveyed in a saying of "popular wisdom": don't judge a book by its cover. Indeed, it is not enough to "dress" like a Mason to be an Initiate. A simple work of observation will be sufficient to identify a Layman in the Order. As we have already stated, by inertia a Layman tends to keep the role he has, even in a Masonic environment. A doctor always thinks as a doctor, a lawyer as a lawyer, an accountant as an accountant, a workman as a workman; furthermore, each of them will co-exist by attracting his similes in Lobbies where the characteristics of his own profane diversity can condense by "affirming" themselves. Only an Initiate thinks as an Initiate; on these few parameters the distinction between those who "are" and those who "appear to be" is quite easy.
During his journey the adept, by transferring his activity from speculative and theoretical enquiry to operative and initiatory fulfillment of the personal Work, will meet that kind of assistance that Initiates call «the mouth on the ear and the word on the breath». This statement, translated in the ordinary "mouth-ear", expresses a kind of instruction characteristic of the initiatory «sphere» that corresponds to the ancient Precept that states: «When the initiate is ready the Master appears».
We realize that what we have just said, for someone who is not "introduced" to the rules that govern the initiatory sphere, will appear as a simple abstraction if not a myth; therefore we won't add anything else. We will just say that this kind of personal instruction doesn't have any ideological or doctrinal features, it lacks personal or independent group interpretations, and it is not linked to subjective criteria of a particular era or temporary cultural customs that change in time. Its coloration is intellectual synthesis and timelessness. In actual fact, the correct literal dimension where to place the identification of the initiatory Teaching is that it undergoes the Law of Synchronicity of the Universe (multidimensional simultaneousness and timelessness, see for example the works by Todeschini). But we fear that even this concept placed in such strict dimensions, might be too abstract for a young researcher.
Since we can't dwell upon a subject that deserves a much more serious study, we will continue in the synthetic enunciation of the Principles linked to the Transmutation of metals.
The symbol-words AUM and OM
As we have already said, the decreasing three-fold essence of Man is typified in: the monadic Triad that reflects the animic Triad and the latter in turn reflects a physical Triad in the denser energy (called matter). The barycentre between the animic and the physical Triads, invisible geometric point because it is metaphysical, is called, depending on the "language", Ego, SELF, true Self or Psyche. Through this point a three-fold sonority meets; the latter include the physical, the mental and the animic notes. This three-fold note is called the Occult Name of the Initiate.
In the East this composite note is expressed by the symbol-word "AUM", which contains a symbolic teaching. The AUM encloses the matrix of all sounds, the A is the guttural sound, the U is the labial sound and the M the palatal sound; they are the symbols of the three root sounds of spirit-soul-matter. When the most material part, Personality, is assimilated by the higher one, the Soul, the symbol-word becomes double «OM», spirit-soul. This must be taken to represent symbolically a reality known only to Initiates. Indeed they can interiorly vibrate certain notes creating special magnetic waves that attract and capture. These sounds are mentioned in the Lesser Catechisms as Words of Power that «light the space around the Initiate placing the lower under the power of the higher» ancient Commentaries add. The Words of Power, though, are not only attracting and magnetic, but, if they are inversely polarized, they are destructive and liberating; they produce the dissolution of the form and the liberation of the energy contained in them. See for example the principle of "death" of the physical Form.
The part of the Psyche in contact with the physical Form is psychic identity, Personality or lower ego, which includes the physical mind and the lower emotional planes (also called Astral Body) and the superior mind (called abstract because it is proficient in a first form of synthesis). By higher part of the Psyche, Ego, SELF or true Self, we mean the 3rd Aspect (of the three) of the Triad, the aspect that on the lower planes manifests its "intelligent activity", reflection of the Third Trinitarian Aspect (the Intelligence of the cosmic Mind).
In esoteric Philosophy we say that this "point", the Ego, is known to (is active only in) "the only Children of the Widow", viz. the Initiates who, although born in the matter lacking Spirit (widow of Light) have reached the consciousness of their true primitive identity, which is that of «Children of Light», Children of Horus-Hiram, the Solar Logos that emanates this Light (by Horus-Hiram we mean only the spiritual Light of the Solar Logos). But on this subject as well we can't say any more.
The Psyche is fixed between the lower part of the animic Triad and the higher part of individual Personality. In eastern iconography this is called the Guardian of the Threshold (of the access to Solomon's Temple, the Wisdom of the conscience of the Soul, also called the Solar Angel; see the analogy with the Cherub with the flaming sword). The animic Triad, in turn, (the Body of Light of Mystics) is joined by a point to what hermetic Tradition calls the Augoid or Golden Egg, so called because of the solar color that is emanated by the Monad. These Entities are called Triads because the identity of the cosmic Trinity is manifested into them, reflected in the relative proportions. The sum of this Trinity is called Archetype ONE, the God of mystics.
«He of whom nothing can be said»
The Archetype ONE is emanated from a Non-Principle placed behind manifestation. This is the true GOD of Initiates, from which everything is emanated, even the Principle of cosmic Manifestation itself, the Archetype ONE and the God of devotional-mystics, viz. of those which don't adore its manifested activity, but its motion.
It is called inexpressible because it is inconceivable, indeed in the Non-Principle GOD there isn't a visible manifestation or a conceivable Principle. In ancient eastern iconography we find two explicit definitions of Non-Principle, which were used when addressing popular classes: «the Clothesless and He of whom nothing can be said». The Non-Principle GOD is manifested by the Archetype ONE God which, in turn, emanates three radical energetic elements:
The centrifugal Force that emanates the great energetic field that is the Universe.
This first Power is called cosmic «Will»;
The centripetal Force that holds the "boundaries" of this great field (which otherwise would explode and dissolve) allowing at the same time a gradual expansion. This second Power is called cosmic «Love» (called Love because it is a magnetic energy that attracts and contains);
The Force that, within the boundaries imposed by the interaction of these two energies, dynamic and magnetic, builds with its activity in this field of force any kind of Form.
This third Power is called cosmic «Intelligence or Mind», or the Great Builder.
Let's briefly recap the focal points of the exposition:
The three manifested Aspects of the cosmic Trinity: Will-Love-Intelligence were summed up by the Sacerdotal Tradition (the First Cast, golden) in a unique term, which is Archetype ONE. This, in turn called by devotional-mystics God is not GOD, the Non-Principle, non-born and self-generated but only its exoteric manifestation.
Priests of popular religions later named this three-fold manifestation of the unique Archetypal Power (God) with anthropomorphic (human) terms; in the west with Father, Son and Holy Spirit, whilst in the east the same were called Father, Mother and Son.
At this point it is necessary to quote a statement from the initiatory Teaching, although it might seem "suspended in midair" because of the synthesis in which it is expressed.
Until the Initiate, even the most advanced one, is connected to a physical forma mentis, although illuminated (by the 3rd Aspect but individual, the intelligence of the Triad) all that he will be able to perceive of the presence of the Archetype ONE God at any level of manifestation, even spiritual, will only be the expression of His activity, the Great Work. Therefore he will only be able to get in contact ever with (His) 3rd cosmic Aspect, which is called of Intelligence, which He places in the Work outside Himself.
The 3rd Trinitarian Aspect is also expressed in the terms «Mind» or «Great Architect». In order to highlight the principle that the 3rd Power of the cosmic Trinity, the Aspect called Intelligent Activity, the Mind or the Light (by hermeticists), the Great Architect of the Universe (by Masons), Horus-Osiris (by mysteriosophists), the Great Builder Deva (by Veda), Yahwè (or Jehovah by Jews), the sephir Binah (in the macrocosmic sense) and the Holy Spirit (by Christians), just to mention a few among the most common names in the west, we repeat that they are all terms, although drawn from different "conceptual languages", used to express the same Principle, the radical energy of the 3rd Trinitarian Aspect.
In the sphere of lower manifestation the dual and antagonistic concept of «Spirit», Fire and Water Elements and «Matter», Water and Earth Elements, is known. In the work of metallic transmutation these two antagonistic forces must be transformed from opposites into complementary* with the constitution of a first point of balance between these two forces (this dual principle of opposite forces is shown in the ancient symbol that shows two Snakes intertwined that face each other).
This point of balance is called the Middle Way or Path and indicates the invisible point of psychic gravity around which the whole personal Work of the initiate is carried out.
This found-again «point of balance» is followed by the ascent towards the synthetic sublimation of the adept, in the One and Universal Principle of the Greater Initiate and this highest Principle of the human initiation is nothing but the 3rd Aspect of the Archetype ONE, the Great Architect of the Universe.
* Coincidence of the opposites - In psycho-synthesis this principle is recognized as the key to understand and resolve most of the theoretical and practical problems of man. It was passed on to us by Plato in these terms: «Since the unity exists before duality, the coincidence of opposites existed before their separation. Therefore the opposites are opposed between them but not towards the unity». The two antithetical terms are resolved and overcome in the synthesis. The most efficient way to actuate it is to resolutely detach the center of conscience from the two poles and keep it steady and constant in the higher point of balance and domain, which starts from reason and common sense and reaches the spiritual Understanding.