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Journey Great Work: The Journey through the Great Work /2.1
FreemasonryThe constitution of the Lesser and the Greater languages in the esoteric Commentaries– Personality, Ego and Triad

It has been said, in every ancient country with the right to call itself civilized, an esoteric Doctrine, a system called Wisdom existed and those who devoted themselves to its study and its teaching were called Wise men. Pythagoras called this system Gnosis or Knowledge of things that exist.

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The Journey through the Great Work /2.1

by Athos A. Altomonte

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The constitution of the Lesser and the Greater languages in the esoteric Commentaries

From an esoteric Commentary:

«...It has been said to us, in every ancient country with the right to call itself civilized, an esoteric Doctrine, a system called Wisdom existed and those who devoted themselves to its study and its teaching were called Wise men. Pythagoras called this system Gnosis or Knowledge of things that exist. Under the noble denomination of Wisdom, ancient masters and wise men of India, the magi of Persia and Babylon, the Hierophants of Egypt and Arabia, the seers and prophets of Israel, as well as Greek and Western philosophers, gathered all the knowledge that they considered as essentially divine and classified parts of them, one to hold among them as esoteric and another to spread as exoteric».

This is how the Tradition of the initiatory Order in the Greater and Lesser Catechisms was born.

The "knowledge" of Tradition, after passing the initiatory filter of the "by recognizing you will be recognized" is usually passed on, from Initiate to initiate, only orally, with the subtle and personal method that in the Mysteries is called "the lips on the ear and the word on the breath".

Exceptions to the Rule are the expressions matured in ideograms (also called Hierograms, from Hierophant, Initiator), the (synthetic) contents of Symbols. The archaic Symbols of Tradition that universally show what is today called "the Great Work" are not many, and all those that followed were the result of more and more relative decompositions made by the lesser hierarchies of initiates, in order to pass onto each other those meanings, at less and less synthetic levels and in more and more prolix terms accessible to their own abilities.

Among the main archaic symbols, some have been gathered and published in the article: Examples of hermetic-symbolic language.

With the advent of pictorial languages (successors of ideograms in popular culture), followed in their evolution, by literal ones, the ideograms were forgotten (today they are called thought-symbols) and so symbols became all silent and observed only in their exterior form. We should never forget that in the symbol the geometry of inner spaces can be reduced to a Number – ‘the Number is the Soul of the Form – and the Number in Sound.

"Oral transmission" has also continued its work, allowing not only to keep intact the initiatory patrimony (of the Humankind) but also to develop it considerably. It enriched it with the contribution offered by the conjoined work of the Members of the (7) initiatory Schools, born to compensate for the contrasts arising by the different languages of the (lower) mind of man through their Teaching. The path that leads to initiation is considered seven-fold but in actual fact it is only one. Seven are the main colors of the human mind for the seven levels, from physical to monadic, contained in Man. Therefore seven will be his interpretations of Reality, just like seven will be the Paths that lead him to the One synthesis of a universal vision.

In the initiatory system it became usual to address the imagination of common man with terms that evoked easy-to-read pictorial images.

The experience had taught that the most efficient way to impress instinctual minds with concepts that left a memory was the use of the "wonderful myth" and the "dramatic myth", passed on through figurative languages. These languages were used to concretely represent episodes shared by any human Psyche, but that usually remained unperceived at the level of his instinctual mind. For example, the sphere of ephemeral, changeable and unreasonable was indicated to those men with the term of World of Chaos or, even better, Water of the Sea of Chaos. This term, more than others, impresses the imagination of the young initiate, who can therefore perceive to a skin level the sensation of movement, fluctuating and unstable, of those who swing from positions of judgment and conflicting and emotionally non-advanced ideologies.

Personality, Ego and Triad

Man, with his conscience still immersed in this fluid world of sensations, is still subjected to the emotional domain of that part of the mind that interacts with the instinct of his animal-form. This level of sensations is called astral by esotericists and it expresses a habitat of dark and unstable sensitivity, which makes him unable to discriminate*, considering this from the ‘point of view’ of the Ego.

The Free Will of man, at this evolutionary moment, is expressed in a strongly limited form by all the emotional (astral) tints that arise because of his intense co-existence with the instincts of his own animal-form. Then, up to the complete development of the high part of the Psyche in the ordinary (wake) conscience of Personality, it is called the (small) Free Will.


* Discrimination – esoteric Commentaries mention the ability to discriminate as a distinctive sign of the Initiate. This faculty is connected to the understanding of the Law of Discrimination.

On the subject, here are three significant comments: «…discrimination is a faculty of the concrete mind that trains the lower bodies to distinguish between delusion and reality, between Self and non-self. A period of time follows, which must be overcome, where the attention of the Ego is necessarily focused on the lesser self and its vehicles, and then the vibrations of the Triad, the Laws of macrocosmic evolution and the control to exert on the fire at the service of the divine are temporarily neglected. When we are able to suddenly distinguish the truth in what we see and choose reality automatically, we learn the blissful action and the path of beatitude is open. Then occultism becomes possible, because the concrete mind served its purpose, and now it’s not its owner, not its prison guard, but its instrument and interpreter».

«It is appropriate to talk about discrimination, the first means of liberation. It is based on the realization of the essential dualism of nature, considered as generated from the joining of the two poles of the Absolute-spirit and matter; discrimination is at first a mental attitude to be cultivated diligently. The premise of dualism is accepted as a logic base for the further work and theory must be checked and verified. The Apprentice takes the attitude of the higher pole (the spirit that manifests itself as soul or inner guide) and in the daily events he discriminates between form and life, body and soul, lower (physical, emotional and mental) manifestation  and real Self, which is its cause...».

(Taste) «He finally tastes and discriminates, because taste is the great sense that starts prevailing during the discriminatory period, which takes place when the illusory nature of matter is on the way to be understood. Discrimination is the educative process where the Self submits in the process of developing intuition, faculty through which the Self recognizes its own essence in and under all forms. Discrimination relates to the dualism of nature, the Self and non-self, and it is the means to distinguish them in the process of abstraction. Intuition relates to the unity (the synthesis) and it is the ability of the Self to get in contact with other selves, not a faculty through which to get in contact with the non-self».

Instinct, arisen to satisfy primary drives, needs and wishes of the matter-animal-form, managed to develop its own "intelligent" determination, condensing itself in the emotional sphere called astralness.

Through this sphere of relative conscience, which, as we will find out in the Sephirotic Tree, emanates from the Sephir Malkuth (Earth Element, the physical World), we could state the motion of life of matter towards the outside. With an attracting and rejecting motion, which manifests itself in the appearance of a deep and often blind individual egocentrism, the life of the matter interactively communicates with the external worlds up to building, reciprocally, the worlds of sensation in all the forms and in every Kingdom of Nature.

In the Human Kingdom this instrument proved to be insuperable in achieving the emancipation and exteriorization of the lower self (Personality). It is an element completely inclined towards the concretization of its own sensitivity. At this stage, with the answers obtained to its own symbols, the personal self creates that psychic ‘body’ called lower mind (physical-concrete) or subjective mind.

This evolutionary stage for a deeply physiologic and egocentric Personality is necessary in order for it to obtain the domain on the physical and emotional elements of its own vehicle.

Otherwise, for the Self or Ego, this stage (as we will see in the chapter "Ordo ab Chao") proceeds from the darkness of Chaos.

Since Personality slowly regenerates, receiving the continuous drive of an emotional drive of higher order ‘from the top’, it considers this stage certainly evolutionary, but the Triad* suffers this stage of individualization in the personal Work, despite it being temporary, as a sacrifice and involution of part of itself. Furthermore, it involves the uncertainty of an energetic investment in favor of a Personality that, being a strongly subjective and undisciplined element up to its shadowing, it always occurs "sight unseen".

The personal Work involves, for every Self, the anticipation, in the preliminaries, of the individual Plan of every individual sphere of man a part of his own super-mundane body. This act of sacrifice for the wellbeing of the Humankind, is translated, by traditional symbology, by the initiatory psycho-drama of the "fall of the Spirit in the matter which, without conscience of its own true nature any longer, painfully ascends the cross of incarnation, where it is fixed with the nail of the four elements (Earth, Water, Air and Fire, four elements that make the Form of man)".

Those "parts" of Self that every man’s Triad allows to descend in his own incarnation, are called Psyche by the Western Initiates. The ability to recognize oneself (in the Self) that it gradually reawakes in the Personality to which it is connected, is achieved through a sequence of stages of conscience. Those emotional levels, attacked by a greater and greater tension, form the coagulant entity of lower psychicism called mind, which at first appears as reacting to the instinct and the needs of the physical Form, and later is attracted by the manifestation of its own lower and reasonable sphere; finally it reacts to the self-recognition of that intuitive and trans-personal sphere which is its own psychic synthesis.

Those "parts" of Self or Psyche are called in some lesser traditions "fallen Angels" and until their re-awakening in man, they won’t respond any longer to the primitive Entities that wanted to emanate them: ‘the Children of God’**, Monads or also "Children of the Father" or Dyaus Pitar, of which it is written: "the Father in the Son and the Son in the Father, whose bride is the Earth (the Form and the elements, who are its daughters)".


* Triad – For the researcher it becomes a custom to find different terms for the same element. Here we will analyze three synonyms: Soul, animic Body and Triad.

In the Esoteric Doctrine the term Soul indicates that "portion of energetic tissue" that the Monad projects of itself in the matter "to animate it"; from here the term "soul" (In Italian the word "soul" is translated with "anima").

The latter, also called "true Self" or "Ego", is an energetic element of higher conscience that connects the unexpressed essence of the macrocosmic man (Monad) to the essence of the microcosmic man expressed in the world of forms (Personality or lower Ego), creating, between the two spheres, of conscience an egoic barycenter that leads the lower to recognize itself in a unique element called Spirit (of the Monad).

When the Soul, the perceptive element of the Monad, is gradually withdrawn by the matter, the Form which it was covered by goes back, with all its elements – physical, ethereal and gaseous – to its natural "basins", but which have been revalued for the use that has been made of them by an intelligent entity of a superior order.

By animic Body we mean the consolidation of the "energetic tissue" emanated by the Monad, for the re-iterated use that has been made in the matter and for the "summing-up" in it of those elements that – reacting presences born in the synthesis of all the mundane experiences – come from the activity of the different "Personality", which happen in the lower sphere of its existence and precisely, in the sphere of the Form. The animic Body also contains what we might call "a proper synthetic memory", a kind of mind or Pure Reason that we find, depending on the various schools, with the synonymic names of Causal Body or Psyche.

Triad is a hermetic term, used to indicate an esoteric factor of great importance for the determination of a cosmic quality of the animic Element. This factor is to contain, reflecting it, the "Trinitarian Model" of manifestation. This is where the term Triad comes from. Indeed, it contains and preserves a three-fold form of manifestation, using the same building key which, in the Mystic Lesser Catechism, is called Holy Trinity.

The three cosmic Elements expressed in the Triad are the Will Aspect (dynamic energy, called the 1st cosmic Aspect, the Father), the Love Aspect (attractive, called the 2nd cosmic Aspect, the Great Mother, the Space that has been recently modified by the Western Church in the term "Son"), the Intelligent Activity or Motion Aspect (the intelligent activity of the motion of the One Energy. Indeed, it creates the form to any kind and element of manifestation).

The 3rd Aspect is particularly interesting, because most of the personal Work of the Initiate develops on it. Indeed, this Aspect of the cosmic Trinity is reflected in the man-microcosm, creating that active and intelligent Element that we know as Psyche or Body of the Psyche. The 3rd cosmic Aspect has always been indicated as (their) Son, since it is the result or effect of the conjugation between the first two Aspects. In an esoteric Comment it is written that: «the Son is nothing but the shaped virgin substance. Therefore the Son and the Great Mother are nothing but ‘states’ of the same Substance. When we understand that the Mother is the reflected image of the Father, we re-discover the fundamental Unity of the apparent and manifest Trinity».

Mother Aspect for the Western Church - Only recently the Western church, with the purpose of deleting the woman element, and with it woman itself, from its doctrine, has replaced the Great Mother with the term Son and put the Holy Spirit in the place of the Son. By doing so they wanted to state, even in the metaphysical sense, the paradox of a political value, i.e. the supremacy of the male (concrete) Form on the female one.
In a sensational mystification, though, they mixed up the positive energetic element of the Aspect of cosmic Will, called "the Father" because of an elementary anthropomorphic view, with the male sexual characteristics of the physical Form, which have an exquisitely animal essence. We might add that the high ranks of that Hierarchy certainly didn’t aim at a war against sex, so much so that at other times its members seemed to enjoy it a lot. Rather, they were interested in keeping for themselves every possession in titles, money, land and real estate at the death of every prince or hierarch. After five hundred years of political growth, the church of Rome let loose a new doctrine which, among the other things (the criterion of reincarnation was deleted, saving only the concept of – a – rebirth, intending to use it as a caste power), could delegitimize the presence of women within any field of male power (even to the point of denying that they had a soul) and with particular vehemence in the field of clerical power (AD 553, Council of Constantinople). In actual fact the true objective was to delegitimize the children born from women’s relationships with its members; these children might have claimed the inheritance of titles and possessions. It is historically undeniable that whenever possible, those invisible children were re-absorbed by the same Hierarchy and placed at levels suitable to the dignity of their father. The rule of celibacy was born. It has never been possible to find a proper theological reason for this rule. This reason has never existed inside or outside the Sacred Texts of the Humankind; it even clashes with an intelligent reading of the Gospels. What existed, though, were certain logics of political power and hereditary axis which were protected by this rule. At the death of any member, this rule brought back more and more Power to the high ranks of that Hierarchy which, now definitely abandoned the teaching of Its First Master, was building a proper empire on this earth.

A word that is often mistaken for a synonym of the previous ones is character.

Character, material and mortal soul, indicate the field of sensations (the Ethereal Body) and that of emotions (the Astral Body). These are two energetic areas of the psychological human habitat, which work interactively between man and the outside world. The conscience of man wouldn’t be able to perceive anything of what is outside its physical form without these two "conductors". These two fields dissolve at the same time as all the other elements aggregated to the solid form, going back, like any other, to their own natural ‘basins’ when the event called disintegration or death of the vehicle occurs (only of the form, because death doesn’t exist for the other elements of man). For those who would like to make a connection with the conventional elements of western mystic culture, this field of sensation is the biblical nephesh, mortal spirit ‘of the matter’ of man. Although it might appear quite obvious, we can add, to complete this concept, that the nephesh or soul is nothing but the reactive essence of Personality.

Therefore we can completely simplify the concept by stating that the nephesh is (mortal) Personality.

**The Children of God – "Everything that God created waits eagerly for that time. Then God will show who his children are." – St Paul, Epistle to the Romans, VIII, 19.

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