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The Candidate at the Two Mounts

   In the peroration of Deuteronomy (Chapter 27-30), Moses once more impresses upon his people the unfailing operation of universal law, knowing that a recognition and remembrance of that fact would influence them to realize the ideals set before them.

   Israel represents all who become Covenant People, they who touch the inner fire of the spirit and "hear the voice" of the Unseen Presence. They experience repeatedly the operation of divine law. They have learned through long discipline the statutes and judgments it is necessary to observe in order to gain and maintain the favorable cooperation of cosmic law in the attainment of a larger, richer and more beautiful life. Failure to live according to one's highest understanding is to suffer negation of that which is fruitful, harmonious and godlike. Moses stresses this to the Chosen, and later history bears ample testimony to the truth of his words.

   In the body of a candidate for Initiation the river Jordan is the spiritualized spinal fluid. This is the stream in which man is immersed when Christed. It is the river of living waters which flows between the medulla oblongata and the cauda equina. The medulla is the principal nerve center of the body, and is the conducting medium through which forces that rise along the spinal column are conveyed to the brain. The more these nerves are sensitized, the more receptive they become to spiritual influences.

   As the process of spiritualization proceeds, powers latent within the cerebro-spinal nervous system are gradually brought into active manifestation. This work receives special aid from the Lords of Scorpio and the Archangels. To vivify the several centers in the nervous constitution of the body is the task of every spiritual pioneer. It is thus that he builds an altar unto the Lord (Law) of "whole stones."

   The mount on which Israel was commanded to set up an altar of stones was called Ebal. It was the place of "the curse," and means bare and bald. After crossing Jordan, the stream that symbolically divides the material state from the spiritual, it is on the foundation of redeemed materiality (Ebal) that an altar (regenerated life) is to arise. This altar is constructed of whole stones (consciously developed faculties of mind and heart). They are the perfect cubes that Masons fashion out of the rough ashlar. The importance of this work is shown in the words Moses speaks to Israel: "Take heed, and harken, O Israel; this day thou art become the people of the Lord thy God. "

   We have seen in earlier Books that the Lord commanded Israel to be to Him as a "nation of priests." Now that the tribes stand at the threshold of the Holy Land and their victory is sure, this ancient promise is to be fulfilled: not as a nation of spiritually blind people with a few enlightened Initiate-priests, but as a nation of mystics and seers, a nation in which the masses see the light. This ideal is still to be attained, for until all humankind shares the power and knowledge of the true priest-Initiate, materiality remains the stumbling block of civilization. Before. that block is removed much educational work needs to be done. The law must be firmly impressed upon the imagination of the "Israelites." Esoterically, the imagination of a candidate for Initiation must be vivified, made alive with the beauty of cosmic law, so that it can only image forth thought-forms in perfect alignment with celestial wisdom. Drama is perhaps the most efficacious educational instrument, not only because of its appeal to the intellect, but more because of its stimulus to the imagination. When it becomes a vehicle for spiritual truth its power for good will be incalculable.

   We see the drama made use of in Moses' command concerning the curses and the blessings. Six of the tribes are stationed on Mount Ebal and six on Mount Gerizim. Those on Mount Gerizim were Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin. They were for the blessings. Those on Mount Ebal were Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali. They were for the curses. This constituted a setting and background for dramatization of the chief statutes of Holy Law.

   The Levites then read the twelve curses in a loud voice so that the assembled tribes could hear them, and to each the multitude responded, "Amen!" Following the reading of the curses, the blessings were read in like manner. In the two mounts, and in the curses and the blessings, the way of spirit and the way of matter are contrasted. The one is a mountain of blessings; the other, a mountain of curses. One is on the right hand; the other, on the left. It is for man to choose between them. "Man is both the slave of the past and the master of the future."

   Those who choose the path of the spirit develop the higher phases of Simeon (reason), Levi (harmony), Judah (love), Issachar (humilty), Joseph — that is, Manasseh and Ephrai — (higher mind qualities), and Benjamin (spiritual intuition). Those who follow the way of the flesh manifest the lower phases of Reuben (fanaticism), Gad (black magic), Asher (lack of discrimination), Zebulun (selfishness), Dan (wrong use of creative force), and Naphtali (power of personal gain). We observe in this connection that Ebal, the "bare" mount, correlates (with the exception of Gad) to the winter signs of the Zodiac: Aquarius, Libra, Pisces, Scorpio and Capricorn. Gad, or Aries, is the sign of springtime, when the Earth blossoms forth but has not yet borne fruit. Mount Gerizirn correlates (with the exception of Manasseh, or Joseph), to the spring and summer months: Gemini, Leo, Taurus, Virgo and Cancer. Joseph — that is, Manasseh — is Saggittarius and Ephraim is Virgo. The Levites are the readers in this ceremony on the two mounts.

   That this Ritual dealing with the work of a candidate before the "two mounts" is entirely initiatory is plainly discernible to those who are able to read between the lines and there discover the deeper significance of the event outlined.

   Of similar origin is the Egyptian initiatory "trial" undergone in the "Hall of the Two Truths" in the presence of Osiris, the Lord of Truth. If the candidate has chosen the right hand path-designated as the Mount of Blessings in the Deuteronomic ceremonial — he is passed into higher degrees with the pronouncement of the following exhortation: "Let the Osiris go; ye see he is without fault ... He has lived on truth, he has fed on truth; The god has welcomed him as he desired. He has given food to my hungry, drink to my thirsty ones, clothing to my naked . . . He has made the sacred food of the gods (living the life) the meat of the spirit."

   The Kabbala gives an interesting light upon the first curse (Deuteronomy 27:15), the curse against secret idolotry. It relates the story of Rabbi Schimeon and the ten illumined men of the Greater Assembly, all of them holy men of high attainment. Having entered into a field, they sat down under trees which grew there for a discussion of spiritual matters. Rabbi Schimeon in his capacity as spiritual leader, arose and offered up a prayer; then he again sat in the midst of them and said: "Let whosoever will place his hand in my boson." The companions placed their hands there, and he took them, and began to read: "Cursed be the man that maketh a graven or molten image, an abomination unto Jehovah, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and setteth it up in secret." To which the companions replied with the ritual "Amen." We perceive in this story that the companions understood the spiritual correspondence of the hand and the bosom, and their special correlations to the sin of idolatry, an esoteric evil.

   According to the Kabbala, the human body is formed after the likeness of a divine prototype or celestial pattern which is the Original Man, the Adam Kadmon. The First Man is the living expression of infinite love and wisdom, and each of his members corresponds to a quality or attribute of God, the Absolute. He, God, "instituted proportions in Himself . . . and a certain nature by which His infinite Light could be modified, which was the first Adam."

   It is only as a student comes to understand something of this divine correspondence that he can comprehend the reason for the repeated use in the Scriptures of the term "the right hand." For example, in an ancient Scripture we read "Thy right hand, 0 Tetragrammaton, is marvelous in power; with Thy right hand wilt Thou dash in pieces the enemy." (Exodus 15:6) And again, "Thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the limit of my right hand." (Daniel 12: 13) The hand is notable in reference to the development and projection of certain spiritual rays of power.

   In the time of the Mosaic Dispensation the Greater Holy Assembly was composed of ten men of high and varied attainments, corresponding to the powers of the ten Sephiroth; in them it was as though the invisible Hierarchies were made visible. This Assembly was somewhat similar in the arrangement of its work and ceremonial to a modern Masonic lodge. Certain tests and trials of fitness and worthiness were undergone at specified intervals by its members.

   In the ceremony which took place in a "field," when Rabbi Schimeon commanded the Companions to place their hands in his bosom while he read the curse against esoteric evil, he was testing their responsiveness to the key ray of his Assembly or grouping. A similar circumstance, involving the hand, may be noted in the life of Moses. At the command of IHVH, Moses put his hand in his bosom and drew it forth before his disciples, luminous and white as snow; not leprous, as literalists would have it, but white, as mystic annals of the Persians relate.

   The heart is the center and light of the body temple. The hand placed in the bosom, therefore, represents one who has awakened the powerful heart center and consciously directs great shafts of spiritual power (the hand) through and from this center. The power thus becomes white, radiant, and fragrant, like May blossoms. This attainment is described in Psalm 110:1: "Sit thou at my right hand," in which the hand of God has reference to infinite powers reflected in man as Initiate powers, among which is ability to control subtle forces in nature-even as the hand of God wields lightning and thunderbolts, symbols of karmic dispensations.

   Nature forces are constructive or destructive in relation to man, bestowing "blessings" or "curses" according to the relationship he has established between himself and them. The massed power of lust has its reaction, as we saw in our study of Sodom and Gomorrah, in destructive fires. Wastefulness and inordinate carelessness of the welfare of others carry their toll of famine and depression. Tornadoes and cyclones are traceable to man's own deeds of violence, even to his impulses.

   These same forces operate in a more direct manner upon the personal life of man. Fear and destructive thinking, particularly the massing of thoughts centered in hatred and revenge, produce epidemics and many varied forms of disease. To understand that in its inception every part of the body was a thought form. This mental image was gradually crystallized into physical manifestation in accordance with certain mental rhythms — either strong rhythms, vibrant with life and responsive to forces that renew and invigorate, or weak rhythms responsive to forces of debilitation and disintegration.

   Though all organs of the body were at first thought forms, not all are keyed to the same spiritual principle. Thus desire rhythms dominated the center in the primitive organism which later became the liver; the love forces of attraction and cohesion set the keynote of the primordial heart; emanations from the world of concrete thought established the brain as the vehicle of mind, that most important of spirit's channels for expression while in physical embodiment.

   The solar plexus, the Sun or vital center of the body, had its initial formation in pure etherealized Life Spirit essence. This energy-center in primitive man was the focus of his highest spiritual expression. The blood also correlates with Life Spirit essence; in the world of Christ Consciousness it becomes a river of light. Body fluids in general pertain to certain vital forces in the ethers; the nervous systems are the vantage ground of the higher desire nature; the brain is the citadel of thought. From all of this it is abundantly clear that "thoughts are things." The mind must be cultivated as carefully as a fertile field which is as ready to bring forth worthless or destructive weeds as useful plants and beautiful flowers.

 — Corinne Heline

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