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The Restoration of the Gates

   It is always the special privilege of those who attain to return as teachers, that they may serve those on lower rungs of the ladder of unfoldment. The third and twelfth chapters of Nehemiah deal with the rebuilding and rededication of the city's gates.

   Before a candidate is found worthy to "abide in the East" he must possess the keys which unlock the gates described by Nehemiah. When unbarred, these gates lead to that state of illumined consciousness whereby mortals, according to Paul, put off the old man and put on the new.

   The Sheep Gate was in the eastern wall near the initiatory pool of Bethsaida, where the blind were made to see. Here the animals (lower nature) must be sacrificed. This gate correlates with the zodiacal sign Aries, the sign of sacrifice and transmutation. This gate was repaired by Eliashib, whose name means God will restore.

   The Fish Gate was on the north corner, belonging to Pisces. The purpose of this sign is to journey toward the Light through humility and service. Hassenaah (God provides) restored this gate.

   The Old Gate stood in the northwest corner of the broad wall. This belongs to Taurus. It is also called the Ephraim Gate, and it serves to teach aspirants the beauty of self-surrender and self-abnegation. This gate was repaired by Jehoiada (God knoweth).

   The Valley Gate lay in the southeast comer of Solomon's wall and it correlates to Capricorn, sign of the "same consciousness which was in Christ Jesus." Hamm (given by grace) repaired this gate which extended over into the Dung Gate. At the latter all "excess rubbish" was to be disposed of. It was located in the extreme south end of the wall, and its restoration was in charge of Malchiah (Jehovah is king, Jehovah being the Law that transmutes generation into regeneration). This corresponds to Scorpio.

   The Fountain Gate was near the Initiatory pool of Siloah, where Angels waited to stir the waters for all who would "see." Nehemiah began his secret night circuit from the opposite or Valley Gate — correlated to Capricorn, sign of high intuitional guidance. This gate was repaired by Shallun (recompense).

   The Water Gate was "toward the east, and the tower that lieth out," and gave access to the spring of Gihon (bursting forth). This is the Aquarian Gate where the people assembled to learn the "secret law." Aquarius is the home of the new Law which will supersede the old, the inner Law that will supersede the outer. The Nethinims (those dedicated to the Sanctuary) were in charge here.

   The Horse Gate in the southeast corner of Solomon's wall was re paired by the priests. Its rulersbip is that of Sagittarius, sign of the spiritualized mind which has become high priest of the spirit. Zadok (the just) was in charge of its repair.

   The Eastern Gate was repaired by Shemaiah (Jehovah hears). This gate received the "glory of the sunrising" so it belongs to Leo and points to the coming of the great Light of the tribe of Judah.

   The Gate Miphkad (the mustering) belongs to Gemini. It represents the dual nature of man and points to the Path that leads to his ultimate regeneration. This gate was identical with the original old Eastern Gate of the Temple, thus representing man's former state of oneness with God. The restoration of the gate purposed man's return to his former divine estate.

   An observant reader will note that while there are twelve zodiacal signs, there are only ten gates correlating with these signs. Virgo and Libra are missing. The numerical cypher or power on which the Old Testament is based accounts for the omission. The ancient zodiac consisted of only ten signs. Later, in harmony with evolutionary development, Scorpio was divided into two signs, the second sign becoming Virgo to represent man's innate virgin nature. Between these two signs was placed Libra, the Scales, symbolic of his free will and his prerogative of following the path of his choice. The two paths are represented by Scorpio, the flesh, and Virgo, the spirit.

Nehemiah's Opponents at Work

   Again Samaritan enemies endeavored to hinder the work of restoration but Nehemiah, serene in a consciousness of his divinely appointed mission, continued calm and steadfast at his task. When one is conscious of an inner-plane commission and the guidance for his appointed work, he permits no interferences to deter or hinder. The mason's trowels and mallets resounded through the city and great new stones were set into place. Nehemiah, the grand Master Workman, was busy day and night bestirring each set of builders to fresh enthusiasm and greater activity.

   Sanballat, chief of the ill-disposed neighbors, could well say: "What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? ... will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?"

   Tobiah, the Ammonite, declared: "Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall." (The fox represents the subtleties of desire.) However, Sanballat and Tobiah misjudged the dedication of the Temple builders. Under Ezra and Nehemiah, these people put on the whole armor of God. "So build we the wall, was their keyword and, despite the machinations of their enemies, their activities continued unabated.

   The north walls were most open to attack as these walls were only about half completed. (North is the point of deepest materiality.) One group of workmen was meeting with another and the work became most severe: "Much rubbish crumbled under their feet and impeded each step." In fact, the work was so heavy that the strength of the "bearers of burdens" began to give way.

   Fear of impending disaster enveloped the city. Only a leader as determined and steadfast as Nehemiah could have carried the building forward to completion.

   Nehemiah is recounting the battle between truth and error that every neophyte must wage within himself. Only by the armor of constant prayer can he win and right prevail. The strength of every aspirant has been weakened through the long evolutionary cycles wherein his spirit and mind have been subjected to the thralldom of desire; and the vehicles of his spirit have been weakened by his misuse of the creative life force within his body. The lament of Nehemiah sounds down through the ages, and his statement "There is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall" is as much to the point today as when he uttered it.

   In these passages Nehemiah describes the constant, watchful attitude of a mystic builder. "Every one," he states, "had his sword (the power of truth) girded by his side, and so builded." Every mystic builder is given the same admonition as was given to the people of Israel: to lodge at night within Jerusalem, which is recognized esoterically as the higher spiritual realm, or Paradise, where a person consciously performs work as an Invisible Helper. However, only those who worthily discharge the duties and responsibilities of the day are qualified to serve in wider fields at night. Thus, their labor continues both day and night — even as medieval poets taught concerning the House of the Holy Grail, whereon the Templars built during the day and the hosts of Heaven during the dark hours of night.

   "Now it came to pass when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;) That Sanballat and Geshem. sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief." (Nehemiah 6:1,2)

   In the wall of celestial virtue which encloses the Holy City of Peace there is no breach left whereby animosity, envy, jealousy or pride may enter; but the doors were not yet set up in the gates, meaning that the neophyte had not yet learned how to constantly keep himself surrounded with a protective aura. Had the doors been up (the aura completely builded), the enemy could not have gained entrance. Despite evil directed against him, no true aspirant who hopes to succeed in his quest for Truth will bear malice in his heart or harbor thoughts of revenge. He learns to pray as did Nehemiah: "My God, think thou upon Tobiab and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear." If our time and energy are consumed in thoughts of fear and worry, our spiritual work is seriously hindered. We have, therefore, to learn to cast our burdens on the Lord; or as modem metaphysical teachers put it, "on the Christ within." After doing so we are free to go on with our destined work, knowing that Divine Intelligence watches for us.

   In this crucial time of Nehemiah's administration "every mason girt on his sword before he took up his trowel and every hodman carried a weapon." Thus girt in righteousness there could be but one outcome. Nehemiah was everywhere about the rising structure inspecting the work of masons, whether of high or low degree. He was accompanied by a trumpeter, that the entire company might be summoned to assemble in case of attack.

   "So we labored in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising sun of the morning till the stars appeared." (Nehemiah 4:21) The working parties were divided into two groups: "operative" masons and "speculative" masons. The former correspond to occultists who carry on the active outer work and thereby take heaven by storm.

   As the work of the world goes on according to the high ideals of spiritual realms, a splendorful dwelling place of the soul also arises. This bears the same relation to the outer work as man's soul does to his body. When building houses for spiritual activities vibrations impinging upon the material structure do not die out in the interim between periods of active labor. On entering such places sensitives feel the pulsation of Power, while clairvoyants observe it as shafts and beams of interweaving color. Walls appearing ponderous and substantial to mortal eye are to the eye of a Seer rainbow-hued gossamer, through which spiritual Beings ttnd Initiates belonging to the particular activity involved may pass easily provided. their vibratory rate is harmonious.

   Behind the, visible workers are invisible cohorts of the heavenly hosts, including those Sons of Earth who, through Initiation and through death, have put aside their earthly garments. They are represented among the builders of the wall by those bearing spears, for they work primarily with secret hidden powers. Though they seem to stand and wait, they are nevertheless serving. They are armed and ready for any emergency and their power for good is incalculable. No temple of Initiation can be built without their collaboration, though they touch no stone of it.

   In every form of worship there has been, and still is, an inner and an outer work, a concealed and a revealed teaching. Thus, Nehemiah tells us that in the era of rebuilding the city walls "the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities." (Nehemiah 11:1) The dwellers in Jerusalem are the few worthy to abide in the holy precincts; the vast majority must live outside the walls.

   For twelve years Nehemiah labored in this service for which he had forsaken a distinguished career at the Persian court. As he states, he was content to take no mundane compensation: "former governors ... had taken bread and wine, besides forty sheckles of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God." (Nehemiah 5:15)

   One who is a true channel for spirit needs no stipulated salary or remuneration: "Your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things." Nehemiah renounced luxury and honor, taking upon himself a mission that was hard and unappreciated. His motives were misunderstood and his activities were hampered by subtle and aggressive enemies. But in the light of his vision, and in the strength of his faith and trust, he went forward undismayed and undaunted by the obstacles that confronted him. In his own life he demonstrated that a laborer is worthy of his hire.

 — Corinne Heline


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