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Daniel
Initiations
The Trial of the Lion's Den

   Like the vision of the king, the Initiate experiences of Daniel occur most often during the night hours, when his ego is in the spiritual world functioning apart from its physical body. Before his initiatory work began he had to undergo the trial known to esoteric wisdom as meeting the lion. This is symbolized in the Trial of the Lion's Den, a figure met with in the writings of medieval alchemists and also in Masonic symbology as the Dweller on the Threshold, the lesser Guardian who challenges every ego at the threshold of inner worlds.

   Daniel had gone far on the spiritual path since that time when he came, a youthful prisoner, to Babylon and was given into the hands of the priests for a Chaldean education. He now understood the cosmic Law which governs the heavens above and the earth below and, like all who possess this knowledge, he lived in harmony with it. He knew a calm and a poise undisturbed by all outer conditions.

   Jerusalem, the city of peace, represents that state of consciousness wherein the heart is illumined. In attaining to this supreme ideal the "windows toward Jerusalem" are always open and the vision of the heart looks out upon the blue infinity, our most perfect symbol of Deity. "Our Father ... in heaven."

   In the text the Trial in the Lion's Den takes place in the time of the Persian King Darius, but it is followed by visions that occur in the days of the Chaldean King Belshazzar, who reigned just prior to the Persian conquest. This is historically confused but esoterically correct in as much as the Lion's Den Trial is a necessary preparation for the divine experience recorded immediately thereafter. Herein is additional evidence that the Book of Daniel is meant primarily as a study in Initiation, not as an historical record. It also indicates that Daniel took certain Mysteries in the Babylonian School and was later inducted into the Mysteries of Persia as well. This was not an unusual procedure in ancient times, for those qualified, such as Pythagoras, could be initiated in more than one School.

   "Because he was so beloved of God, Daniel built a tower at Ecbatana in Media," so runs a mystic legend. "It was a most impressive building and most wonderfully made; it is preserved to this day; those who see it say it appears to be recently built and no older than the very day it was first looked upon. Kings of Media, Persia and Parthia lie buried in this tower to this very day." This is a veiled description of the Temple of Initiation in which Daniel labored for the illumination of those worthy to receive esoteric work preparatory to the coming of the King of Kings. The real purpose of Temples of Initiation has always been veiled by using them as burial places for kings, a use that is also a symbol. Upon reaching the exalted place in spiritual consciousness symbolized in the kingly Work, every ego dies to the earthly life, is buried within a tower (Temple), and is then resurrected into the life of the New Jerusalem. So it was with Daniel.

   Origen, the great Christian Mystic, writes: "But that city is also called Jerusalem, to which none of those upon the earth ascends, nor goes in; but every soul that possesses by nature some elevation and some acuteness to perceive the things of the mind is a citizen of that city."

   Again, as in trials under Chaldean kings, we observe that the monarch is deeply concerned as to Daniel's success in the initiatory work and hails the prophet with joy when he discovers that Daniel has successfully met the lion — that is, conquered the Dweller on the Threshold and thereby won free passage into spiritual realms: "The stone was rolled away from the mouth of the den in the morning."

   As before stated, astrologically the man and the lions are the dual symbols of the Aquarian-Leo Age. Aquarius is an airy, intellectual sign. When the Sun crosses the celestial equator northward in this constellation it will further the knowledge of the ethers and of forces working through them. There will be a widespread sensitization of people's etheric senses so that many will be able to function in the subtle etheric world and manipulate the living forces of that world in such a way as to revolutionize vegetable, animal and human forms, thus creating more perfect types upon earth. This will bring a new concept of life and immortality; and for the Elect old age and death will be no more. Discoveries and inventions still undreamed of will then make living an increasingly glorious adventure. Religion will be scientific while science will reveal the finger prints of God in Nature.

   Deeper spiritual teachings will bear the impress of Leo, the power of fove. Love as a power is by no means the sentimentalism so often masquerading under that term. The latter is evanescent and of only transitory value. Under Leo men will truly think with their hearts and Love will be a positive force under the direction of spiritualized will. Then shall the words of Isaiah be fulfilled: "The lion and the fatling (shall lie down) together; and a little child shall lead them ... for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."

   The mortal consciousness of man is reflected upon and through the animal kingdom. Animals did not prey upon each other, or upon man, until after the Fall. This condition arose as a result of man's misdirection of the creative fire force which, in the angelic Hierarchy as in men and women who have achieved transmutation of the life force, is focused in and controlled through the etheric center located in the heart. Development of this vital center is probably the most important of all esoteric work, and every neophyte will one day realize that these things are not allegories but exact scientific facts that are experienced and therefore known.

   When man has learned the way back to redemption and has again become pure and harmless, his perfected reflection will work a transformation in the animal world. Those who have found the path of holiness have demonstrated this truth individually. In the Aquarian Age it will be demonstrated collectively.

 — Corinne Heline


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