Index: The Three Thresholds of Initiation: Part 2 - The creation of the Destiny of Man: disorientation, orientation and re-orientation of the Psyche - The Great Caduceus of the Scottish Rite
The three Thresholds of Initiation - Part 2
The Masonic Precepts are contained in a lesser Catechism that forms the body of the Lesser Mysteries and in a greater Catechism that refers to the body of the Greater Mysteries. The latter represent the third Threshold of Initiation.
Lesser and Greater Mysteries have superimposable, therefore identical, purposes. The differences are the quality of terms (form of expression) and the different depth of thought in the same concepts (intellectual penetration into the unknown).
I will try and explain these statements.
The School of Initiation has always offered all men, including the less specialized, the branches that make its Science.
Therefore the first Guides felt the need to create a transposition of the initiatory Truth into simple languages that could be understood at any level (or Caste) of the humankind, even the simplest or most incompetent.
The results of that work can be seen still today in the myths and allegories that have reached us. Some examples are parables used by older people, certain fairy tales for simpler minds and symbolic languages, considered and proposed to the most advanced Members of the initiatory Hierarchy of the Order.
Many Masters were later instructed on the use of those methods, which in time became a general rule.
Lesser catechism means to cover a manifest or immanifest reality with human words, concepts and characteristics. This is why it is considered a Mystery (the subject) but Lesser (for the anthropocentric characteristics).
To give the Brothers instructors an example on this topic the Master Initiates generally propose the three main energetic qualities of our Universe.
At the first Threshold of Initiation that three-fold manifestation is completely covered by human characteristics: in order for the man who lives at that level to recognize himself by seeing his reflected image into it.
Here appears in the emanation the concept of Father, Creator and Great Architect. All these terms correspond to an image of command, law and justice, made or to be made.
For the force that the emanation holds in Space, was coined the exoteric term of Great Mother. In the mind of the astral man this word immediately corresponds to the idea of attraction and protection "that looms and determines". The terms that are now part of the tradition of Nations, such as Mother Earth, Mother Nature and Mother Space all originate from this concept.
The creation of the Destiny of Man: disorientation, orientation and re-orientation
The Intelligent Motion in the (Universal) Form is the effect born from the manifestation of the One and the Two and it is the cosmic Entity that produces evolution (the Motion) penetrating all the (energetic) levels of the World; man only perceives the presence of the first fiveof them; the Mineral, the Vegetable, the Animal (Astral or of Desire), the Thought (of Psyche) and the Spiritual Worlds.
Beyond these five worlds even the most advanced perception of man has no power, therefore with this "roof", although continuously expanding, man marks the boundaries of his own universe. But those "boundaries" and that "roof" are only the result of the perceptive mirage of a vision, whose potential can be still hugely developed.
Going back to the third Entity of Aspect, it is indicated by exoteric doctrines of the East with the word Son, whilst the exoteric western doctrines, which deny the presence in their "sacred" of the feminine and therefore of the Mother - perhaps because feminine themselves - coined the neutral term Holy Spirit. But this distinction for the esotericist is, for the moment, an irrelevant element compared to the general economy of his own research.
The lower mind of man, which like any other concrete matter naturally tends to inertia and contact with the motion - "which breaks the stillness of the Form" - of the evolving energy of the III Aspect (of Intelligent Activity), reacts opposing it. This resistance "to what needs to change" and to "all that changes" is a typical expression of the astral mind detached from universal reality and central factor of the birth of Counter-Initiation.
Throughout all his life, the lower mind and the profane desire are in constant battle with the energy of the III Aspect so that nothing changes and transforms but, if this must happen, to happen as late as possible. And of course this is astral dementia.
The fight that the mind of the Profane engages with the III cosmic Aspect "so that nothing has to change" protecting the illusion of the Status Quo, adds personal chaos to the World of Chaos producing the effect that is much feared by man: his own Destiny.
The tolerability of man to this destiny is directly proportional to the use of (his own) lower energy that he will decide to direct pro or against that wave of Life.
If it is true, and it is, that in the physical world "each action corresponds to an equal and contrary reaction", this occurs in man but it doesn't keep into consideration the power of the live element that he is able to express with his own Will. That element can indeed change those terms and relations improperly called destiny.
To answer "how" this is possible, we will call on Initiatory Philosophy.
From the disorientation of Chaos the orientation on the horizontal plane of the mind through reason is organized for the Will element; it is then organized with the use of logic in the re-orientation which, through intuition, refers to the vertical plane of man up to the reaching of his own intellect.
Going back to the concept of tolerability of effects, we could remain within what has been expressed in the Theorem that states:
Disorientation is the opposition to the evolving Motion of the wave of Life (the III cosmic Aspect) that creates the conflict, that manifests the Illusion and determines the unbalance that produces pain (read: diseases) because all this is incompatible with the Harmony to which the Law of Economy in the Universe (see Law of Economy) tends.
This last Law rules the manifestation in all the Worlds, the "total" Universe, and not only ours, that is just a little detail of it. The Law of Economy, by which nothing is created or destroyed, is the Law on which the Activity of the III cosmic Aspect is based: the Great Builder, Master and Guide of all the master builders of any level, which work for the Great White Work of the Great Architect.
In order to fight the disorientation, the initiate works on himself through a process of reasoning and logic (the technique of meditation of the Eastern Brothers) which makes him aware of recognizing his own real dimensions and abilities. Therefore through the identification of one’s own "strong points", we can determine and propose the most convenient direction because of its compatibility to one’s own characteristics, qualities, and most of all true needs of that Personality connected to the Plan of the Ego.
This starts, through a proper real Free Will (see Freedom of choice and free will) to convey the attention and energy (the energy follows the thought) towards that fixed point that allows the first orientation by stopping the personal chaos.
Orientation is the ability to silence, into one's own personal domain, the conflict between the opposites up to making them complementary in drawing us to the desired direction; towards the middle point between the horizontal and vertical axes of the Seal of Hiram.
This geometrical point is known only to the Children of the Widow (the Masters Freemasons) and it is the intersection point where the Rose of Principles Rose and Cross originates. The ora et labora of mystics.
The lack of conflict determines the beginning of a "clear vision" of the Journey through the Work, the birth of tolerance and the molding of the determination of one's own character in being able to wait for the appearance of the right cycles-rhythms and cadences (VII cosmic Aspect). This leads to the Initiate "being patient" and, with that patience, to be able to wait for the right time in conditions determined by aspects higher than us. This further "step" leads to the "initiatory modesty" of he who manages certain energies but also accepts to be managed by others; and to the consideration that the effort made becomes the personal gratification just like the "symbolic" pay of the Freemason.
Re-orientation is being aligned in the vertical axis, where, once changed the perspective (the vision of the initiate), the circle is the personal sphere and the point is the Triad of Man.
This involves moving in synchrony with the Motion of the III cosmic Aspect, which then becomes the wind of the initiate. But also a second event upsets the relations of the man who learns to suffer in the world of Chaos.
The Initiate already lives on the "magnetic and attractive" line of the Two, which works on the vertical line of the III Aspect. By becoming in a way attractive and magnetic himself, it happens that occasions and events go to him, within range of his sight and hand. He will only have to decide if to grasp them or not. The destiny becomes favorable to his work, because he is the extension of the Work and the waves of the sea of Chaos (the liquid of the Astral world) cannot do anything against his determination but drench him if he re-descend in the lower levels to work. But how does this matter to him?
Once passed the second Threshold of Initiation the Brother is shown a more realistic image of those aspects that he learnt to recognize. More and more lacking those characteristics that he is learning to disown, such as possession, jealousy, (astral) love, punishment, fear and deception. At this point the language changes as well, becoming more synthetic.
Therefore the first Aspect is represented in the symbolic language with a radiating point «» the second with a circumference «» and the third with a wave of motion «», Life.
This constant propaedeutic action allows the master, once abandoned the heavy profane clothes, to introduce the Brother to concepts more suitable to the realities of the Universe.
Once left the symbolic language of the lesser Catechism the initiate, always under the guide of the esoterically older Brother, will learn the abstract use of the Symbol. This means the learning of the inner meaning of symbols through the intelligent analysis of geometrical relations and their internal spaces.
This leads the mature initiate to synthesis, to being able to recognize into those relations hidden in the space of Forms, even in the human one, the Science of Numbers which is the synthesis of those forms (the Soul).
Once passed with this the third Threshold of Initiation, the Mason is ready to accept mastery.
He will be lead by the Science of Numbers to learn the sonorous values that they represent in the Space of Manifestation, and the colors that originate from those sounds.
But we will have a chance to talk extensively of these topics before the end of this treaty.
I’d like to conclude this short but necessary part on Initiation by resuming the principles of the three Thresholds.
The first Threshold allows the mason to recognize the world of effects that occur around him.
The First Temple (of Salomon).
The Second Threshold marks his access into the Class of Learning of the causes produced in themselves.
The Second Temple (of Ezekiel).
The third Threshold marks for the Brother mason the achievement of the Class of Wisdom where he will be able to recognize, “above” as well as into himself, the world of Archetypes which, steady centers of the radiating energy, manifest themselves in the five Kingdoms of Nature of which Man is the complete representative..
The Third Temple (of Melchizedek).
In order to help the treating of those big topics which sometimes we have only hinted at, I decided to divide the work into three books.
The first one, our present journey, is dedicated to the Masonic Temple and Its meanings according to the Initiatory Tradition and Archaic Symbology.
With the second book we will try and go beyond the sense of the words placed for the defense from profane eyes, of the occult meanings of Ceremonials and Masonic Rituals in order to have the reappearance, after so much sleep, of the Realities that were traced and still wait to pass on to us completely their knowledge.
Furthermore it will be a demonstration of how certain meanings must be seen and not simply looked at, otherwise they will remain invisible.
As a Zen master said, it is necessary to stop looking beyond the hedge (symbol of the obstacle) and to learn to see beyond (through) it. Here there is the freedom in the understanding of the infinite.
The third book will deal with hermetic philosophy and the invisible connections among the 30 Chambers that make the Great Caduceus of Hermes, which is represented by the Scottish Rite.
The Great Caduceus of the Scottish Rite