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Admonition to those in Captivity
Chapters Twelve to Thirty-five

   While continuing his mission to his people in preparation for the Messianic Kingdom, Ezekiel again receives the word of the Lord: "Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house" (Ezekiel 12:2). Jesus quoted these words to the Jews of His own day, who were as blind to spiritual truth as were the captives in Babylon.

   The Israelites refused to accept the warnings of their prophets prior to the fall of Jerusalem, but hearkened — as the populace at large is ever inclined to do — to those who told them what they wanted to hear. These were the "times of the end," however, when "there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel." Destruction was definitely at hand (chapter 12).

   Against false prophets with their flattering predictions Ezekiel spoke forth: "Thus saith the Lord God, Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace, and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar." (Ezekiel 13:3, 10)

   Within the writings and teachings of those who have "rent the veil" there is always a sign which conceals true spiritual Mysteries. Throughout the vast records of work done by illumined leaders of the blind masses such signs are discernible to all who have eyes to see. Ezekiel's warnings apply with full force to false leaders, who were themselves blind and could not produce evidence of any first-hand knowledge: "The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it; to wit, the prophets of Israel . . . which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace." (Ezekiel 13:15, 16)

   Against the people as a whole he pronounces judgment; and in the parable of the two eagles and the vine (chapter 17) he shows that although Israel had failed heretofore in her world mission, hope still remained that a Remnant might be saved to fulfill the national destiny: "Thus saith the Lord God: I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; ... in the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing: in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell." (Ezekiel 17:22-23)

   Again appears the universal concept of God as the God of all nations: "Under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing: in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell;" that is, the Christ Mission, although centered in Israel, is not for Israel alone. It radiates out to all people, to "fowl of every wing."

   For the princes and nobles of Israel the prophet also had a word (chapter 19). He recounts the history of Israel in chapters 20 and 21, concluding, "And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: ... exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it to him" — a promise of the Christ's coming in the fullness of time.

   In the words "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it" we see the activity of the Wheel of Destiny upon which the universe is bound, together with every living creature within it.

   Before the amalgamation of the Four Essences is effected, their inharmonious interactions produce direful effects upon the body of the earth and the lives of men. The symbols used by Ezekiel correlate thus: The sword, Air; famine, Earth; the noisome beast, Fire; the pestilence, Water. The prophet was a great kabbalist and in many chapters of his inspired Book he expounds the profound philosophy of the Zohar. Man, so says the Kabbalah, is a microcosm of the macrocosm, or the archetypal Man, Adam Kadmon.

   In a later chapter Ezekiel — who thought largely in the pictures and symbols of Jupiter-consciousness — describes this divine man (Primal Man of the Gnostics) as a great tree:

   All that is created by the Ancient of Ancients can live only by a male and a female, states the Zohar. This first Adam included within himself the wisdom and beauty of Sephira, the first woman, for that Adam was androgynous.

   The "Fall" is described by Ezekiel in terms of several ancient nations, whose doom he predicts: Tyre, Assyria, Jerusalem, Israel and others. All of these nations are type-figures used to symbolize inner truths.

   The reference is to the axial change of the earth which occurred with the descent of the Luciferian fire spirits from heaven and affected our entire planetary system, giving to earth a coat of dust and to men garments of skin.

   With the separation of the masculine and feminine principles of the original androgyne into two sexes, 'the "Fall" began its work. Adam Kadmon descended to become the man of red dust and the beautiful Sophia or Heva, mother of all that lives. The feminine principle manifests itself in two streams of consciousness: "Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother." (Ezekiel 23:2) The name of one is Aholah, meaning she who has her tent or sanctuary, and represents the love or heart principle, the spiritual feminine. The name of the other is Aholibah; it means their abominations, and signifies the fall of the love principle into desire and lust.

   The Kabbalah delineates this universal process in Yod-He-Vau-He, the Sacred Name sounded only by high priests on the night of Full Moon, and only within the Holy of Holies. Yod and He, the masculine and feminine united, produce the Son, Vau. On the physical plane this son is the product of physical generation; on the spiritual plane it is the birth of Christed consciousness. The misuse of this great feminine or image-making principle-from which, according to Ezekiel, the mind is alienated-is responsible for the dual consciousness of man. The consciousness of good and evil came into manifestation after the Fall and man's expulsion from Paradise, and is symbolized by the birth of Cain and Abel, the material and the spiritual. Redemption of the image-making principle is the work of regeneration, the only salvation possible for man, by means of which he achieves consciousness of the All-Good. "If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light" is an ancient occult maxim.

   In the Yod-He-Vau-He the first He is the feminine in bondage to the flesh; the second He is the feminine in liberation, free in things of the spirit. This duality is exemplified in Eve of the Old Testament and the Virgin Mary of the New. The interaction between these two principles forms the dominant theme of the entire Bible. The leading masculine characters, representing the personality, are influenced by two feminine characters which represent respectively the orientation of the personality toward the outer and material or the inner and spiritual. The following tabulation presents some of the more familiar examples:

   Such a trinity is illustrated in Goethe's Faust, the great modern drama of human evolution, in the characters of Faust, Helena and Marguerite. In this connection it is interesting to note that the Gnostics wrote a great deal about Helena, identifying her with the redeemed feminine principle in man.

   Ezekiel is describing the beautiful Sophia within, made in the image and likeness of God.

   The prophet was speaking of the Fall and its effect upon woman, the reflection of the feminine principle. Occultly, this accounts for the subjugation and degradation of woman throughout the ages. In exact proportion to the lifting of the image-building principle in human consciousness generally will woman, as the reflection of this principle, assume her proper status in the world. Jachin and Boaz will then stand in equilibrium. Wisdom and Beauty will labor as one. In the decoration of Masonic temples no longer will one of the two figures that guard the entrance be represented as having its eyes closed.

   It is to "princes" of the Masonic iine that Ezekiel addresses the following verses:

   Again, the rod is the spinal column wherein the uplifted, regenerated spirit fire "blossoms" by awakening certain spiritual centers through which newly activated faculties find expression, "By their fruits ye shall know them." When, through wrong living, the fire is gone out of the rod the fruit is devoured. This is the great lamentation; and it is not for any particular race or nationality, but for all humanity. These deep truths are fundamental to occultism.

   The foregoing verses are a pointed summary of the theme of Ezekiel's moral message to his captive people in Babylon: "The house of Israel is to me become dross ... her priests have violated my law ... I am profaned among them." Like Jeremiah, he teaches in vigorous parables and by bitter denunciation the operation of cosmic Law, under which Israel and all the world must reap as they have sown. He repeats that his God, the God of all mankind, is a God of justice. No one can escape cosmic justice.

   Yet his message declares that the Remnant of Israel, if found faithful, will be led once more to their own land, where they may rebuild the Temple and lay the foundation for a holy nation wherein the Messiah shall appear. How is this to be accomplished? Through God's Law which governs Chaldeans and Israelites alike. Every man has the power of choice. Free will is a divine prerogative of man. Nevertheless, man may not violate God's Law with impunity:

   A modern poet expresses something of the same teaching in a well-known verse:

   Man is responsible for his choice of the path of light or the path of darkness. He may use divination in order to arrive at a decision, but nevertheless the decision is his. He is responsible for his actions and for the fruit which springs therefrom according to cosmic Law.

   In the work of Initiation there are two paths of development: the one is positive, or spiritual; the other negative, or psychic. Positive development may include phenomena and faculties which may be termed psychic, but negative development can never reach the spiritual level. The distinguishing features of the positive are: first, it is always under control of the individual's will; second, it flows naturally from transcendant idealism and is accompanied by pronounced moral integrity. Negative, merely psychic development is not under control of individual will, the psychic being a passive tool in the hands of occult forces; and his moral nature is often rudimentary, if not actually distorted.

   To clairvoyant vision the liver appears as the center of the desire body, the solar plexus being related to it as a center of negative unfoldment. A certain class of Egyptian priests wore the serpent symbol about their waist, indicating that theirs was lunar (negative) development, while others who followed the positive path wore the serpent upon their brow.

   A further result of Ezekiel's vision was discovery that the individual himself, not the tribe or nation, is responsible for his own violation of the Law. Carried beyond an immediate incarnation, this principle applied to rebirth reveals that heredity has no real power over an ego. It is merely a reaction under the Law of Causation of the ego's activities in one or another of his earthly embodiments. Thus, the ego has been attracted to a particular environment on the principle that like attracts like. A reincarnating ego takes from its parents only materials needed for its physical body. Its character, mind, shape and form, even its capacities, are its own creation. Hence, the prophet-priest writes:

   "The soul that sinneth it shall die." An occultist knows that the spirit can never die. But there is something in human consciousness which can die after many lifetimes on the destructive path. Ezekiel calls this perishable human consciousness soul. Paul refers to the same thing in the words "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life." The soul is the fruitage of evolutionary work in a physical body. If one's mind becomes too centered in the personality to extricate itself, its connection with the spirit may be broken. The result is a soulless personality that may continue for a time to live as a human being while committing unbelievably atrocious crimes. Eventually, however, it disintegrates. The ego is entirely withdrawn from the human life wave but, being spirit, it cannot die. It must again begin evolution as part of another life wave in some far-off future, and until that opportunity comes it must wait in "chaos."

 — Corinne Heline


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