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Bible Self-Study Supplement

The Song of Solomon Correlated with Psalms

   The greatest of all Songs of Initiation is the beautiful "Song of Songs," which is Solomon's. It embodies the highest spiritual keynote of the entire Old Testament. It is primarily, as previously noted, a chant celebrating the divine consummation of the Mystic Marriage, a supreme phase of Initiation.

   The Song of Solomon rightly is given a place of honor all its own, and is not included in any group such as the collections of Psalms. But Psalm 45, the Song of Lovers, is a miniature version of the same theme of the Mystic Marriage, and though not attributable to Solomon it belongs in the Solomonic tradition: "I speak the things which I have made touching the King."

   The exoteric commentator, without this understanding, compares the Song of Solomon to a lock, the key of which has been lost. He comes, however, very near to the finding of the key when he declares that the picture of human love is the disguise for a divine theme. The lover is J.H.V.H. and the beloved maiden is Israel, chosen by J.H.V.H. as the bride.

   The four Paths of Initiation — Fire, Air, Water and Earth son — converge in the mystic J.H.V.H., or the Christus upon the Cross. Israel is a cypher of power designating one who has thus attained. Is represents Isis the queen, Ra the Sun god, the king; el unites the two, the Lover and beloved.

   The Song of Songs typifies the high attainment of Solomon who had united within himself the Great Lover (Mystic Path) with the wise King (Occult Path). Such attainment opens the door to Adeptship or immortality and continuous communion with the gods. It was his exalted spiritual status which caused Solomon to be considered the wisest and greatest of all kings.

   The Song was looked upon as a Hymn of Initiation by the early Church. Origen (185-254) in his famous Commentary, refers to this priceless spiritual gem as an epithalamium, i.e. "a nuptial song where Mind is united unto Spirit, and Earth is lifted into oneness with Heaven."

The 119th Psalm: The Supreme Outline of the Path

   The Psalms, while not all written by Poet-Initiates, are nevertheless truly hymns of Initiation; they have been collected from every period of Hebrew life, and as the divine plan for Israel was more and more plainly revealed, the Psalms, too, show a divinely revealed Purpose. They begin with the simple songs of faith and instruction, but they rise to the crescendo of mystic triumph in Illumination.

   The Zohar is considered by many to be the culmination of Hebrew esotericism. It was written by Moses de Leon who died (1305) just a few years before Christian Rose Cross founded the Rosicrucian Mystery School (1313). The authorship of the Zohar, which means "Shining", de Leon attributes to his Master, Simon ben Yohai, whose very existence is denied by historians, since the book purports to be a product of the second century whereas its internal structure proves beyond doubt that it belongs to the thirteenth. Esoterically we understand that the Master to whom Moses de Leon refers was not in the flesh; and he may well have been one of the early Masters who lived in the second century, and who, after his death, continued his work in the Hebrew Mysteries. There is no doubt that the essential elements of the book can be traced to the early Gnostic centuries.

   The Zohar is a commentary on the Pentateuch and contains fifty-two divisions, covering the whole field of Hebrew esotericism as revealed by the mystical interpretation of Scriptures, namely, the Mansions and Abodes (Paradise and Hell), the Sephiroth or Creative Principles, the Faithful Shepherd (Moses, Elijah and Simon in conversation), the Secret of Secrets (transmutation), Cosmology and Demonology, and other matters of profound esoteric interest. The Zohar pivots about the principle of the Divine Balance or Equilibrium, which is the secret of all esoteric revelation and creative activity, for it solves the problem of polarity. It is the great source book of modern kabbalism.

   The Zohar states that the universe was created by three forms of expression — numbers, letters and words. The Hebrew alphabet, like the twelve signs of the Zodiac, represent certain definite spiritual powers to be developed in the neophyte as he works toward, and eventually becomes, the Initiate.

   Thus in the 119th Psalm we find each of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet followed by an invocation. These are special prayers to emphasize the spiritual attributes embodied in the letter.

   The first series from Aleph to Yod represents the beginnings of the Path. The second series from Kaph to Pe symbolize further steps upon the Way. The third series, Pe to Tau, deal with Attainment.

   Aleph signifies power generated through self-control, which is the first lesson to be learned by the aspirant. Self-control is the law of the Lord, "Blessed are they that keep His testimonies and that seek Him with the whole heart."

   Beth means a house; in Hebrew it is both a suffix and a prefix. Bethlehem means a house of bread. It was the home of David (who longed for the waters from Bethlehem before going to battle (the conquest of self). Beth is the symbol of the feminine polarity in man whose fall and redemption is the theme of all Bibles in every land. Beth stands for the love that must become an active power instead of the inchoate emotion it so often is at the present time: "Thy words which I bide in my heart that I might not sin against Thee."

   Self-control and Love — Aleph and Beth — these are the two columns of the Temple Gate.

   The third letter is Gimel, a new product formed from the union of Aleph and Beth. On the physical plane this union is generation; on the spiritual, regeneration. This regenerative principle was termed by the ancient alchemists, Mercury, and by the esoteric Christian, the Christ-child born within.

   The new birth is referred to in various ways throughout the Bible. It is called fire; also gold and glass. In Gimel is heard the prayer of this newly awakened life. "Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law."

   Daleth in Hebrew means door, The door symbolically is the heart. In Hebrew the words door, window and gate are all feminine. To signify the supreme importance of the work of the heart, many of the artists of the Middle Ages painted the Madonna, representative of the perfected feminine principle, in an arch or doorway. In Daleth there is the song of true humility in the awakened heart. "My son cleaveth unto the dust. Quicken Thou me according to Thy word."

   The letter He means a window, an opening. Solomon sings in his Song of Songs: "My beloved looketh forth at the windows." He symbolizes the force of regeneration as it works through the mind and heart, thus purifying the life of man. In the putting off the old, or material man, and putting on the new or spiritual man every neophyte learns the prayer: "Turn away my reproach (causation) which I fear; for Thy judgments are good."

   Vau means a hook or support. Vau is an increase of the power of Gimel. The letters represent an ascending series in the scale of spiritual development. In Vau this power becomes a real inner support.

   Joshua's command that the Sun and Moon stand still means the establishment of equilibrium between the masculine and the feminine principles represented by the letters Vau and He. The Sun and Moon that stand still (or are balanced) as recorded in the Book of Joshua, represent the principles of Vau and He in equilibrium.

   He is the feminine power that manifests in the heart; Vau the masculine force which is centered in the head. By the blending of these polar opposites, the power is acquired with which to perform the various miracles referred to in the Bible. This means working in harmony with cosmic law, or as the Psalms express it, "So shall I keep Thy law continually forever and ever, and I will walk at liberty (the body no longer a prison house) for I seek Thy precepts."

   The seventh letter is Zayin, meaning a sword, a conqueror. Seven is the number of completion. The creative fire that is born in Aleph becomes the spiritualized life essence of Zayin. Some of the Psalms are prayers for the development of spiritual powers; others are songs of praise for their attainment.

   Zayin relates to the power of the spoken word and symbolizes the rose blooming at the larynx. It is a masculine letter and signifies the great fire force after transmutation has been accomplished. "Thy words hath quickened me. I have remembered Thy Name and have kept thy laws. "This (attainment) I bad because I kept Thy precepts."

   Heth, the eighth letter, means a field, which symbolizes labor, overcoming, producing. Heth is feminine, and the feminine always has to do wiith lifting up, redemption, regeneration. The power of Beth is increased in love and wisdom as represented by Heth. This was the transformation effected in the life of Abram as his name was changed to Abraham. Zayin and Heth sing of the oneness of communion with the spirit after this new birth. "Thy statutes have been my song in the house of my pilgrimage (the cycle of mortality).

   The ninth letter is Teth, the number of the serpent, and also of humanity. The supreme lesson for man is Initiation, through which the serpent of wisdom becomes fully uncoiled. Heva, or Eve, means both serpent, and life, the life that transgressed and the life that must know redemption. "It is good that I have been afflicted that I might learn Thy statutes."

   The Bible is truly the serpent book of the ages. The most ancient form of Teth was the Cross. The serpent and the cross both symbolize sex. Through misuse of the serpentine power man fell into materiality, and the spirit is tied to the cross of the physical body awaiting the day of liberation. Christ Jesus, the supreme Way-Shower, was nailed to the cross and resurrected from the dead, thereby pointing the way for all mankind to follow.

   Yod is the tenth letter and on the physical plane symbolizes man and woman working through generation; on the higher plane it signifies the masculine and feminine poles of spirit in equilibrium within the body celestial. Yod occurs within every letter of the entire series of twenty-two. Yod is the ego, the spirit. Altogether the letters of the alphabet point the way of evolution for the many and the straight and narrow path for the few.

   The masculine principle evolves through Aleph, Gimel and Vau, to manifest as the power of the Initiate in Zayin. The feminine ascends through Beth, Daleth and He to Heth, the new form builded through the transmuted powers of regeneration. "They that fear Thee will be glad when they see me, because I have hoped in Thy word."

   With Kaph begins a higher series in spiritual development. Kaph means strength gained through polartiy. Yod shows the. two principles working toward blending, the waters of Eternal Life. Kaph symbolizes the effecting of this union. This process is referred to in the words, "I am become as a bottle in the smoke yet I do not forget Thy statutes. This development was represented in early Egyptian hieroglyphics by a maiden closing the mouth of a lion.

   Lamed, the twelfth letter, means in Hebrew an ox-goad, or chastiser. Spiritual progress is the divine compensation for sorrow. Lamed represents the spur of pain. "Unless Thy law has been my delight, I should have perished in my affliction."

   The ancients represented Lamed by the hanged man, which means the crucifixion of the ego between the conflict of the higher and lower natures. This crucifixion is the reason for all the suffering in the world today.

   The poet-Initiate has reached the place where he is enabled to draw from the high spiritual potencies symbolized by the letters, and it is of these that he sings, "Oh how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day".

   Pe begins the final and highest series. Pe means mouth. An ancient Hebrew aphorism says that this letter is formed through mercury or wisdom, which means the power of the creative Word. After the spiritual attainment developed through Ayin, man learns to speak the divine creative Word. Pe is sometimes called a star and again a rose. "Thy testimonies are wonderful, therefore doth my soul keep them."

   Tsadhe, the eighteenth letter, is described as a fish-hook. In ancient Hebrew the spelling is feminine. The ascending of the feminine potency of Beth, Daleth, He, Heth and Mem, attains to a new degree of power in Tsadhe. The feminine column is once more erect and the goal of the occult quest is realized. This is the fish-hook used by the disciples when the great draft of fish was caught, this the power which enabled Peter at the command of the Master to find the gold piece in the fish's mouth. Through this awakened power the Initiate sings: "The righteousness of Thy testimonies is everlasting; give me understanding and I shall live."

   The nineteenth letter is Quoph, signifying the back of the head, the cerebellum, the feminine brain, the medulla, home of the keynote of the spirit, the pons varoli or Tree of Life, the Holy of Holies within man.

   Quoph is the higher octave of Kaph wherein the work of illumining this holy place is directly begun. In Quoph the "Great White Work" is consummated. One who reaches this high place knows the truth of the statement, "Thou art near, O Lord, and all Thy commandments are truth."

   Resh, the twentieth letter, is the symbol of the Great Light, the Light of the Transfiguration. In the masses of humanity the power of Resh operates through repeated births and deaths as the process of Transfiguration goes on slowly. For the aspirant on the Path it is through tests leading toward Initiation as instanced in the life of the supreme Wayshower, Christ Jesus. From the heights of the Transfiguration, the illumined one can say, "Thy word is true from the beginning; and every one of Thy righteous judgments endureth forever."

   The twenty-first letter, Shin, bears the deepest occult significance of the entire Hebrew series. It denotes the powers of the Holy Trinity, or the manifestation of the three in one. In the beginning from the union of Aleph and Beth, a son Gimel is born. Shin represents this same son, or Gimel, translated to the highest concept of spiritual consciousness.

   The letter Shin was placed on the head bands of the priests. It represents the beginning and ending of the quest of the life cycles, and the development of the Christed power in man. In this light the anointed one sings: "Great peace have they which love Thy law; and nothing shall offend them."

   The Hebrew alphabet ends with Tau, the twenty-second letter, the symbol of which is the Cross. The first part of the series closes with humanity, Yod, in bondage to the serpent, sex, or Teth. The way of redemption, or liberation, is pointed out and the final letter is Tau, the Cross, upon which the spirit is bound until freed from the body through the power of Shin. So long as Tau remains as one of the divine series it symbolizes bondage to the dense body and the physical Earth. Through Christ man learns to lift himself up from the Tau, that is, the Cross. The unceasing prayer of the one who aspires to this liberation is: "Let my cry come near before Thee, O Lord," "Give me understanding according to Thy words."

 — Corinne Heline

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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