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The Vision of the Restoration of Israel

   Ezekiel shows the captives in Babylon why suffering fell upon them, and also that God is still in their midst. He next reveals to them that restoration is possible if they repent of their sins and live in harmony with divine Law. He likens their spiritual and national resurrection to a valley of dry bones upon which is breathed the Breath of God, whereby they become living men.

   The invocation "Come from the four winds, O breath" is a magic formula dealing with the Holy Ghost Mystery. A disciple must be born of water (and its complement, Earth) and oil Fire (and its complement Air) before be truly lives in the exalted consciousness of eternal life. Even the most favored life is mere negative existence compared with this attainment.

   The present development of mind and heart are fittingly described by Rabindranath Tagore, one of the greatest of modern poets: "The heart is a river, the head is but a bridge. The river moves endlessly to the sea of God. My bridge only spans it at a certain point."

   Judah is the heart (Leo); Joseph, the mind (Sagittarius). The blending of these two powers in man is related to the "breathing of the four winds." The two segments together form the single pillar in the Temple of God, "and they shall go no more out;" that is, the Adept is freed from the wheel of birth and death, being no longer under the compulsion of karma. He may continue to serve humanity in a physical body or he may confine his activities entirely to higher realms, as the Disciples of Christ Jesus have done. In the New Testament Peter, James and John are termed "pillars." This is the origin of the expression "pillars of the Church."

   Esoterically, the Restoration of Israel symbolizes the redemption of the whole human race from materiality. The valley of dry bones is material consciousness. Restoration to spiritual life is possible only through the work of the Holy Ghost (Wisdom or Truth) within man. Similarly, the union of Judah and Joseph in the New Kingdom refers to spiritual development as a result of this work. The dry bones first put on flesh and resemble living men, but they are not truly living until they receive the Breath of Life from God.

The Vision of the Perfected Temple

   The Book of Ezekiel closes with a vision of the perfected Four-Square Temple, symbol of the new earth and the redeemed body of those who inhabit the land. In his Phaedrus, Plato describes a comparable vision of man before "he lost his wings," when he "lived among the gods, a god himself in the airy world."

   Ezekiel outlines measurements and ornamentation of the Four-Square Temple in chapters forty and forty-three; the ordinances of the priests (neophytes) and princes (Initiates) in chapters forty-four and forty-five; the ceremony of sacrifice in chapter forty-six; the portion of the Twelve Tribes, the perfect consummation, in chapters forty-seven and forty-eight. The Temple is fashioned after Solomon's Temple, the perfect pattern of an Initiate's body, chief characteristics of which are symmetry and harmony.

   Historically, this prophecy has reference to the Capricorn-Cancer Age which will follow the Aquarius-Leo.

   Ezekiel, like Jeremiah, knew the whereabouts of the Ten Tribes. In chapter seventeen he gives information in cipher that the royal line of David has been transplanted to a "good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and . . . bear fruit" — the king's daughter Tea Tephi whom Jeremiah transplanted to Ireland. Like most Bible passages, these words have a double meaning: reference to the Captivity as a means of fructifying the plant of Israel that it may bear the Christ Fruit, and another to the Ten Tribes that were "lost" when taken from their homeland by Assyrian conquerors upon the fall of Samaria. Nineveh was the hand of God in discipline to Samaria as Babylon was to Jerusalem.

   Esotericists do not believe that the recent establishment of an Israelite nation is the whole fulfillment of this prophecy, but that it points to fulfillment in a future age. Moreover, it is one of the signs that the end of the Piscean Age is nigh at hand.

   Ezekiel's vision relates, rather, to a far-off time some twenty-five hundred years hence, when the Vernal Equinox will stand in Capricorn. By then the "lost" Tribes will have had their spiritual heritage restored and the Jews will have been amalgamated into the new race, so that the term "Jew" will denote more definitely a religion rather than a race — a religion centered in the Cosmic Christ, whose Temple at Jerusalem will be the spiritual capital of the world. Esoteric teachings will go out from that Holy City to prepare mankind for the Second Coming of Christ. Jerusalem will truly be a place of peace, harmony and plenty, the home of holy men and women, gathered from all races and all peoples who serve in the glorious work of preparation — just as bands of holy men and women were gathered there for almost two thousand years to make ready for His First Coming.

   Ezekiel was taken in spirit (that is, out of the body in Initiation) to the archetypal region of the World of Thought, where he was shown the perfected Temple at Jerusalem: "And he brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate. And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the in order that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel." (Ezekiel 40:3,4)

   The Temple is to be built on a site five hundred cubits square. It is walled about and provided with three gates and seven steps, the gates being located in the center of the north, east and south walls. There is no gate to the west. The spiritual impulse, like the apparent motion of our physical light-bringer, the Sun, travels from east to west; so the neophyte himself must build the Entrance gate in the west wall. It is invisible to all but himself and none but himself may go in and out through it.

   The outer court is approached by seven steps, the inner court by eight steps and through the three gates. The keynote of eight is polarity. Aquarius is an eight-powered word so polarity is the keyword of Aquarius. Ezekiel's Temple represents attainment of the Initiate powers of the Aquarius-Leo cycle, which will be the powers of the masses in the Capricorn-Cancer cycle. The three gates signify man's threefold body while the seven steps are the seven Degrees of Perfection correlated with the seven planets. The court is four-square, an hundred cubits each way, with the great altar in the exact center, before the House.

   In the Temple court by the east and south gates are four tables whereon are kept the sin (purification) and trespass (transmutation) offerings. Between the north and south gates are four tables of hewn stone for sacrificial offerings. The supreme law of attainment is the Law of Sacrifice. Only through sacrificial, selfless service can a neophyte transform the rough ashlar into the hewn stone that is to become the perfect cube.

   The predominant ideal of Ezekiel's Temple plan is complete separation of the sacred from the profane. Solomon's Temple had one court; Ezekiel has two, for separating the priests from the masses, thus typifying the greater spiritual development evidenced within the latter plan. The ideal of each new age must surpass the highest concept of the old. Later Hebrews were so far from understanding this principle of progression that some rabbis bitterly contested including Ezekiel's Book in the orthodox canon. They pointed out that in many respects Ezekiel contradicted the other prophets: Deuteronomy gave the king supreme control, while Ezekiel subordinated kingly power to that of the Temple; also, he drew the line between the priests and Levites, reducing the latter to an almost menial position as Temple servitors. This was beyond anything laid down in Deuteronomy, for in pre-Deuteronomic times the Levites had officiated at other shrines throughout the country.

   Ezekiel's Temple is centered primarily in the powers of four. One who enters into the Holy Place has become a "Conqueror of the Quaternary." When potential perfection has become actual, the ideal of the ages has been consummated. This vision, therefore, belongs to the time when a Christed humanity will live and reign with the Master in the Messianic Age.

   The great altar is formed of four platforms, the lowest eighteen cubits high (1+8=9); the second sixteen (1+6=7); the next fourteen (1+4=5); and the last twelve (1+2=3). The House itself stands on an eminence raised above the inner court and is reached by an ascent of ten steps. Wherever it appears in the Old Testament, ten (10) is the number of attainment; to wit, the Ten Laws of the Cosmos known as the Ten Commandments. The Temple itself is surrounded by chambers for the priests' use, and there are others in the outer court for the Levites and Temple servers. The most ancient and comprehensive of all symbols transmitted by the Wise Men of old for man's edification is a circle with a dot at its center. Elongation of the central dot makes a symbol of the number 10. This symbol stands for totality, completeness. It is the summum bonum of all creation; it is God in manifestation through His manifold creations,

   Numbers are foci for great spiritual power emanating from the Elohim who guard the destiny of earth. Nine is the number of man and of Initiation; seven, the place of inner peace, the sanctuary of the Great Silence (At-One-Ment); five, half of ten, is the keynote of the arch; three is conservatism, transmutation, sublimation. In these numbers lie hidden the true meaning, purpose and ultimate completion of Ezekiel's mystic Temple.

   These verses describe an inner experience familiar to every aspirant endeavoring to build the house not made with hands, the house of which Ezekiel's Temple is the prototype. The Temple is built in three stories: spirit, soul, body. The two courts, the Holy Place and Holy of Holies make a perfect square symbolizing the polarity of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The inner house is decorated with Cherubim, for only those who have conserved the life force, symbolized by the Cherubim, can gain entrance to this sanctuary.

   The palm tree is a sacred symbol of androgynous power as possessed by earliest races of our planet, a power that man must regain in the course of his future development. The lion represents the great cosmic Fire force, while the man beside the inner door symbolizes one who has overcome the world.

   Before Solomon's Temple stood the Cherubim bearing an open flower, symbol of this selfsame development as described by another Master Builder in whom the powers of priest and prophet, mystic and occultist, had been united. The Garden of Eden is barred by Cherubim with a flaming sword, indicating that only through conservation of the sacred Fire force within his body can man win passage through the gleaming gates of the Soul World.

   The entrance to the inner place of Ezekiel's Temple is guarded by a lion on one side and a man on the other, signifying a yet higher attainment when man shall have mastered the cosmic Fire force and acquired Christed powers. Leo is the sign of the Christ. The high and holy Master is always raised by the strong grip of the lion's paw.

   Ezekiel is recounting the glories of Initiation. There are no windows in the innermost court; it is illuminated only by those who have found the Light within themselves. The prophet is describing his own attainment when he states that the glory of the Lord filled the house. The Lord's admonition is to measure the pattern: that is, live the life that leads to spiritual unfoldment. The goings out and the comings in to the Temple (soul body) depend upon adherence to the Law of Chastity, the message of the Cherubim. Holiness is the law of this house celestial, this priceless temple of the soul.

   On the Sabbath, the Sun's day, vibrations are most propitious for receiving Initiation by Fire. The time of the New Moon brings the greatest spiritual force of the month, a vibration most conducive to soul growth. It is a particularly favorable time for a neophyte to gain entrance into the "inner court."

Vision of the Holy City — Culmination of the New Race

   Every vision of the Holy City is connected with water, and yet John affirms that a time will come when there will be no more sea. He means thereby the transmutation of the desire nature and a subsequent stilling of the waters of emotional life. Ezekiel's vision of the holy waters, however, has reference to the Molten Sea, the magic, stilled water in a receptacle fashioned like a flower and resting on twelve oxen divided into four groups — one group facing the north, one south, one east, one west — and incorporating the sublimated Essence of the four elements, Fire, Air, Earth and Water.

   Any picture of the Holy City includes a sacred tree, the Tree of Life, symbol of the glorified, immortal soul body which is growing on both sides of the sacred stream. This tree can be nourished by holy waters only; that is, the conserved vital essence which feeds the spinal spirit fire. The multitude of fish refers to a new ideal of esoteric Christianity now being revealed to humanity., The rivers are the waters of eternal life; whithersoever those waters flow, everything lives.

   Engedi means waters of eternal life, the highest purport of Capricorn. These verses indicate the attainment of humanity in the Capricorn-Cancer cycle: "Their fish shall be according to their kind" (individual development) for in that day as now there must be pioneers who are the fishers and stragglers who inhabit miry places and marshes.

   The holy waters issuing from the sanctuary sustain the Tree of Life, the fruit of which shall be meat (esoteric truth) and the leaves medicine (for overcoming disease and poverty). This ideal is given to the few (the Remnant) in our present Piscean Dispensation. To them is given a promise that in cycles to come this ideal will become the attainment of all. Ezekiel expresses the idea thus: "There shall be a very great multitude of fish because these waters shall come thither." As previously observed, spiritual Light moves from east to west, apparently following the path of the Sun.

   The Twelve Tribes represent spiritual powers to be bestowed upon men of the coming Sixth Root Race by the twelve zodiacal signs; also twelve new attributes of consciousness to be attained by them, referred to occultly as Twelve Roses that will bloom upon the cross (body of man) in that day.

   There are no fortresses or armaments about this Foursquare City, for all wars and rumors.of wars have passed away. It is served by all the tribes of Israel, meaning all humanity. With the passing of war will also pass divisions into nations and races, all people being united in fellowship and demonstrating brotherhood. Five and twenty add to seven (5+2+0=7), and seven is the number of completion, of fulfillment.

   Ezekiel beholds the perfect Foursquare City in a land luminous as the Sun, its atmosphere formed from the sublimated essence of Fire, Air, Water and Earth. Twelve gates give entrance to the city, three to a side. Each gate bears the name of one of the Twelve Tribes (zodiacal signs), all together signifying man's new body built by the amalgamation of the four primal essences — that luminous ethereal body which must clothe all who are found worthy to meet the Christ in the air (the Holy City) and reign with Him in glory.

   Measures for each tribe number four and five. The two figures combined give the number nine, the number of humanity, thus signifying that attainment is for all mankind, for whomsoever wills to come. The name of this Holy City, where grows the Tree of Life and where flows the sacred waters, is "Jehovah — Shammah," meaning Jehovah is there: "It was round about eighteen thousand measures (1+8=9), and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there" (Ezekiel 48:35).

   During the present Great Sidereal Year of Aries, when the Sun passes through the zodiacal circle of twelve signs, mankind is receiving truths that belong to the Religion of the Lamb, both exoteric and esoteric. Thus far we have passed through one only of these twelve zodiacal ages, that of Pisces now drawing to a close. We have eleven more ages in which to learn of the Christ! It is plain, therefore, that no one is justified in declaring that Christianity has failed. It has only just begun. As the Sun precedes through each zodiacal sign in turn, each adds its own distinctive note of majesty and grandeur to the Christ symphony. New vistas in science, art and religion will be revealed, incorporated into civilization until the wondrous glory of the new heaven and the new earth has been manifested.

   Despite the sublimity of such far-reaching horizons of spiritual splendor, there is a yet more sublime vision and a wider horizon. The Christian religion leads to a phase of cosmic unfoldment designated as the Religion of God the Father. When the Sun passes by precession into the Sagittarius-Gemini cycle, this higher phase of spiritual glory will be first adumbrated by the Christ. In the Capricorn-Cancer cycle, the basis of Ezekiel's Book, earth's radiant inhabitants, under the leadership of the Christ, will be able to visit all planets belonging to our planetary system. In the Sagittarius-Gemini cycle these glorified beings will know no confines save those of the twelve zodiacal signs which circumscribe our solar universe: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard ... the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."

The Captivity Ends
Daniel

   The Captivity came to a close with the downfall of Babylon, but for almost a century the Hebrews were immersed in the sea of Chaldean culture. Being a priest, Ezekiel remained with his fellow captives in the Hebrew colony in Babylon; but Daniel, together with other youths of the Hebrew nobility, was brought up at the court of the Babylonian king and instructed in "all the wisdom of the Chaldeans" at the School attached to the Temple of Bel. Daniel proved himself an apt pupil of the Chaldean Masters and eventually became the greatest astrologer of them all.

   The story of Daniel was not published until the Greek Period in Palestine, and then in an obviously garbled form. However, the essential truth of the narrative and the superlative virtue of the man himself compel belief. Some echo of the benignity of the Chaldean monarch is shown in the Biblical account. For instance, after Daniel had delivered his ominous message to the king, "then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with purple, and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom; (but) in that night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain, and Darius the Mede received the kingdom." (Daniel 5:29-31)

   Esoterically, it is noteworthy that the Book of Daniel is centered in the processes of weighing and measuring. In holy Temple Rites celebrated on the inner planes at the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes, even to this day an aspirant is "weighed in the balances" in order to determine whether he is ready and worthy to pass into a higher Degree of the Order.

   During the Piscean Age now drawing to its close, Virgo, the Virgin Goddess whose symbol is a sheaf of wheat garnered from the storehouse of Mother Earth, guards the cosmic Scales of Weighing at the Autumnal Equinox. She will continue to guard them until the Aquarian Age, when Leo the Lion will be the Autumn constellation.

   Because the Book of Daniel can be interpreted only in the light of later historical events, a discussion of its esoteric significance will be considered in a later chapter.

The Field of Ardath

Ezra

   According to legend, the life of Daniel spans the entire period of captivity and he was in the first band of Exiles which returned to the Holy Land. Certain it is that he left his mark upon Hebrew esotericism, a mark not erased by the passage of time. For vibratory power the Mysteries of the Book of Daniel are equalled only by the exalted Mystery of the Field of Ardath where, under the direction of a certain Ezra, Scriptures were received from the Christ Archangel which became the basis of the Hebrew-Christian Mysteries for the next twenty-five hundred years. Bible scholars declare that much "legend" has gathered about Ezra that is not justified by the meager happenings recorded in biblical Books attributed to him. But esotericists have no difficulty in solving this problem, for they take into account a tradition mentioned by Church Fathers to the effect that after a hundred years Ezra arose from the dead (was reborn), and that he experienced in his new incarnation the divine Illumination described in the second apocryphal Book of Esdras. This is interpreted to mean that the ego known as the "Ezra of the Restoration" had achieved a Degree of Initiation enabling him to retain full memory of former incarnations, and that a hundred years later he returned to earth to complete the work he had previously begun.

   A careful study of the two apocryphal Books of Esdras will clearly reveal that there is actually a hundred years of history between the first and second Books of Esdras. Nevertheless, they pertain to the same great Initiate-Teacher of the Restoration.

   As the work of the Second Ezra continued and completed the work of the First Ezra, so does his Illumination in the Field of Ardath continue and complete his Initiation of the earlier incarnation. The Book which the canonical Ezra carried to Jerusalem and read to the people was the Hexateuch in very much its present form. The Books of the Field of Ardath were these same six Books plus many more, some of which were not published until after the Christ had come, and then only in part. They included the Mystery Drama described in the Gospels — the drama that became a history of the life of the Christ and His followers.

   Hence, esotericists declare that Christianity began in the Field of Ardath at Babylon. There, among the flowers of the field where no house was builded, the Voice spoke out of a Bush and the Solar Christ revealed Himself to the Babylonian scribe, giving the new Solar Mysteries for the Piscean Age. They remained the secret of the Elect until He came to earth in a physical body and "rent the veil" hiding them from mankind. Thenceforth whosoever willed might come.

   It is in the post-exilic Books of the Bible that we learn of the Field of Ardath and its glorious harvest yield in the Restoration.

 — Corinne Heline


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