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Daniel
The First Vision: The Image

   "I have dreamed a dream," the king announces to his Seers, "and my spirit was troubled to know the dream." He commands that they recall the half-forgotten dream-experience to him, for he knows that a true Initiate would be able to do this — if in no other way than by restoring his own memory of it, a skill lying within the power of every real Initiate-Teacher. Their inability to reveal his "dream" out of their own insight, or to restore his own memory of it, reveals to the king that his interpreters are lacking in Initiate-knowledge, and he threatens them with disgrace and death. Daniel, who had been reared in the Chaldean Mysteries, is numbered among these Wise men. Hearing of the king's decree be approaches Arioch, captain of the king's guard, and forbids him to carry out the monarch's fateful orders, saying, "Bring me in before the king and I will shew unto the king the interpretations." Arioch does so. As Daniel speaks of the deep things of the soul, the king's memory is opened and he recalls his dream, thus recognizing the truth of Daniel's words.

   An historical interpretation of the visions of Nebuchadnezzar has been quite thoroughly worked out by Bible scholars, so it is unnecessary to develop that phase in this text. It may be repeated, however, that in the interpretation on gold, Silver, brass, iron and clay represent the Chaldean Empire and those empires which come after it up to Roman times when the Messiah was manifest in a body of flesh — the "Stone," whose coming presaged the destruction of the Roman Empire.

   In the racial or evolutionary interpretation, this image takes a neophyte back through the Memory of Nature to the beginning of the Earth Period. The great figure represents the Four Ages made familiar by classical mythology: the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Brass Age and the Iron Age; and a fifth age representing materialistic man, the man of clay and iron mixed, whose existence marks the beginning of the end. Astrologically, gold symbolizes Sun power; silver, Moon power; brass, Venus power; iron, Mars power; clay, Saturn power. These combined planetary forces play through the body of man, forming both his higher and lower natures. "The stone (that) was cut without hands" is the mind fashioned by Mercury — the wisdom born of the work of man's higher self upon his lower, by which the Mars (iron) and Saturn (clay) influences are transmuted into those of the Sun (gold) and the Moon (silver). When this work is successfully accomplished the result is always the same. Like Daniel, an Initiate then sits "in the gate of the king." This is a forecast of attainment to be won by most of mankind in the now-dawning Aquarius-Leo cycle.

   The mingling of gold, silver, brass, iron and clay refers to the period of assimilation during a cosmic night, the interval between incarnations spcnt by an ego on inner planes; and also the period between great evolutionary days of cosmic manifestation. During these "night times" of Nature all evolving life-waves intermingle in the ocean of life, each sharing with the other the gains made during recent earth experiences, and incorporating the results as faculties for future expression. By Initiation a candidate learns to anticipate this cosmic process in the laboratory of his own consciousness — thus taking heaven by storm, as St. Paul says, and perfecting here and now the attainment destined for the race as a whole in a distant future.

   The Golden Age (the first kingdom) corresponded to the Garden of Eden. In the Golden Age man felt himself to be in the image and likeness of God. He lived in harmony with the animal kingdom, protecting and guiding its evolution instead of incurring its enmity by slaughtering for food and sport, as he has done in the spiritually darkened ages since then.

   The Silver Age (second kingdom) also belonged to the spiritual epoch during which the consciousness of the human ego was gradually being focused upon its earth environment, then only as mirrored in the beauty of the Reflecting Ether. (The most prized ancient mirrors were of silver). The Brazen Age (third kingdom) shows us the man whom Ovid describes as "a warlike offspring, prompt to bloody rage." This brings us into the early part of the Lemurian Epoch after the advent of the Lucifer Spirits. Though physically insensitive and brutal, man was still in psychic touch with inner worlds in a manner similar to that of certain primitive tribes today.

   The fourth kingdom, Age of Iron or materiality, subdued all this. It correlated with the entire first, or Mars, half of the Earth Period in a general sense, but more especially with the three great Epochs known to occult science as the late Lemurian, the Atlantean, and the Aryan Epoch up to the coming of the Messiah. This kingdom was divided, alternating between good and evil, for it was the special fruit of the Tree of Knowledge (Mars: Iron).

   The fifth kingdom is the "iron mixed with clay" of the Aryan Epoch, particularly its latter portion during which the Messiah (the Stone or Cosmic Christ) "fell upon the earth, filling it like a Mountain," inaugurating the Age of Armageddon (Pisces). Not one war but an entire era of' struggle between the powers of Light and Darkness characterizes this age, to which the Christ referred when He said, "I come not to bring Peace, but a sword" — a teaching inherited from the Fire Mysteries of Persia.

   The Stone falling from heaven and grinding the nations to dust, filling the earth like a mountain, is the advent of the Messiah. His coming caused the disintegration of nations and kingdoms and their reformation into the "parliament of Man" and a "Federation of the World," as Tennyson prophetically sings. For the Stone, says Daniel, shall "break in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold" and the kingdom shall not be left to other people but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." (Daniel 2:44,45) This point is considered again, briefly, in the sequel to Daniel's prophecies as correlated with John's Revelation.

   Nebuchadnezzar, the royal pupil of the Mysteries, recognizes Daniel's great mission and is responsive to his spiritualizing influence: "Then the king Nebuchadnezzar tell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odors unto him." "Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him a ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon." (Daniel 2:46,48)

 — Corinne Heline


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