Symbolism, Free-Will and Faith

We will be discussing two things, in this class:
• The Language of Symbolism (or Kabalah: the Science of Signs)
• And Free-Will (or the Reconciliation of Liberty and Necessity)

The Science of the Kabalah

“The High Science includes two things:
1. speech or the verb,
2. and the works which are the final form, or the complement of the verb.

The High Science thus has two fields:
1. the science of speech which is related to the science of signs and of their initiatic correspondence:
2. and the secret of the works (the complement of the verb) which is related to the science of light and of fire.

The science of signs and their correspondences is the Kabalah.”

-Paraphrase from Letter #7 of Eliphas Levi
to his student Baron Spédalieri

The science of light and fire is Alchemy.

“The science of signs begins with the science of letters. Letters are absolute ideas. Absolute ideas are numbers. Numbers are perfect signs. In using ideas with numbers one can operate upon the ideas just as one can operate upon a number and arrive at the mathematics of truth. The tarot is the key of letters and numbers…

-Paraphrase from Letter #7 of Eliphas Levi
to his student Baron Spédalieri

“…the 22 keys of the tarot are the 22 letters of the primitive kabalistic alphabet…”

-From Ch.22 of Ritual of High Magic by Eliphas Levi

“In KABALAH everything is Number and Mathematics. The Number is Holy, it is infinite, because in the Universe everything is measure and weight. God is a Geometrician for the Gnostics.”

-From Ch. 25 of Tarot & Kabalah by Samael Aun Weor

The Degeneration of Esoteric Knowledge

“Unfortunately, people only see the shell of the Tarot. It is known that all of ancient Wisdom is in the Tarot, that all cosmic Laws of Nature are in the Tarot.

The Tarot which is so sacred, so knowledgeable, has become a poker game among the different card games to entertain people. People have forgotten its laws and its principles.

This is similar to how the sacred pools of the ancient Temples, of the Mystery Temples, have today become just swimming pools.”

-Paraphrase from Ch. 3.05 (‘THE DOMINION OF THE MIND’)
of The Revolution of the Dialectic by Samael Aun Weor

For a brief summary of the Gnostic Associations between the Hebrew Letters and the Tarot Cards, see page 2 of class 5’s notes.

The Language of Nature and Creation

In Ch. 2 of Book 2 of The Key to the Great Mysteries, Levi says:

“In magic, to have said is to have done; the verb is begun with letters, [and] is achieved with acts.”

Every word is made up of letters and in Hebrew, each letter has a very special significance. The universe is created from these letters, at least this is the symbolism given in the Sepher Yetzirah, a book of Kabalah.

Both Plato and Homer taught that “Language has not been an arbitrary creation…”

-Paraphrase from Section One of Logos Mantram Magic by Arnoldo Krumm-Heller

“There is a dialect, a natural language. This language is that of Nature, eternally living and eternally resounding, having its own forms… its characteristics are indescribable… its golden scripture is unchangeable…

These forms, these characteristics, this writing, is unique and primordial, and cannot be found without first knowing the jewel, the hidden root of the human language.

…This primary dialect, was a language full of truth, of strength, of pristine purity, of reason and also of light… and its characteristics were just and unchangeable. In every work of Nature, everywhere, one will find these unchanging characters.

…The first man necessarily had this primeval language, then it was lost. The Moabites spoke it, and successive generations then lost it. But the tradition, the connecting link of the Initiates, has been preserved…

The ancient Initiates also knew it. In this ineffable and absolute dialect, Moses received the Tablets of the Law.

From Egypt and, everywhere, (when men sang with the joyous rhythm which directed their souls through dreams), this divine language emerges which was considered as a sacred dialect.

All Initiates know this sacred dialect. The mission of all Initiates is to trace, little by little, the path to where it can be found again. All initiation is about the re-conquest of this supreme language.

…In this language, the connection, the road and the communication with the invisible worlds is established. In this language and writing of light is the synthesis of all of the intellectual and physical mysteries.

The trails to obtain this language of light are:

• Faith.
• Knowledge of oneself.
• Childlikeness.
• Modesty.
• Prayer.
• Renunciation.
• Church.
• Purification.
• Observation.

-Paraphrase from Section Six of Logos Mantram Magic by Arnoldo Krumm-Heller

The Language of the Consciousness

“All of nature’s laws exist within ourselves and if we do not discover them in our interior, we will never discover them outside of ourselves.

The Human Being is contained in the Universe and the Universe is contained in the human being.

What we experience within ourselves is real, because only the consciousness can experience reality.

The language of the consciousness is symbolic, intimate, profoundly significant and only those who are awake can understand it.

Whoever wants to awaken the consciousness, must eliminate all the undesirable elements which constitute the Ego, the “I”, the Myself, from within; because the Essence is bottled therein.”

-From Ch.7 of The Great Rebellion by Samael Aun Weor

The Gnostic Legend of “The Hymn of the Pearl” or “The Hymn of the Robe of Glory”

[Read the story (external site) with commentary by Rafael Vargas or listen to tracks 08-25 (about 49 minutes long) with explanation by Stephen Hoeller]

Here are some points of interest in the Legend:

• Eating the “food/drink” of ‘Egypt/Earth’ causes us to fall into a deep Forgetfulness/Sleep (first 2 states of Consciousness) about our Spiritual Purpose
• When we become tired or sad in this world, we can take advantage of those emotions to call out to our Divine Parents for help who can send us a “letter/message” which can help us to remember our Spiritual Purpose
• The Pearl as the Treasure of the Consciousness (third and fourth State of Consciousness)
• The Robes as the Superior Existential Bodies of the Beings
• The Serpent/Dragon lives in the Ocean/Water (the Sexual Waters)
• Singing or Enchanting the Dragon/Serpent as a use of Speech/Mantrams
• Returning to the Divine Realm by accomplishing one’s Mission or Duty

This story is a Symbolic explanation about reconnecting with our true purpose, our reconnection with the Divine. One of the things that is this brings up is the idea of Liberty and the question of Free-Will. Because in Gnosis our Free-Will must be understood in terms of our Duty.

The Human Being’s Right to do his Duty

“…Voltaire’s last words were this contradictory formula: GOD AND LIBERTY.

God, that is to say, a supreme master: that which excludes every idea of liberty, as the school of Voltaire understood it. And liberty, that is to say an absolute independence of any master, which excludes any idea of God.”

But we must see things differently if we are going to comprehend this concept. So let us redefine these terms:

“The word GOD expresses the supreme personification of law, and consequently of duty; and if, by the word LIBERTY, one is willing to agree with us, that it is THE RIGHT TO DO ONE’S DUTY, then we (in our turn) will take it as a motto, and we shall repeat, without contradiction and without error: GOD AND LIBERTY.

Since there is no liberty for the human being except in the order which results from the true and the good, one may say that the conquest of liberty is the great work of the human soul.

Man, by freeing himself from his evil passions and their servitude, creates himself (in a way) a second time.”

-From Ch. 1 of Book 2 of The Key to the Great Mysteries by Eliphas Levi
available in the Editor’s Appendix of The Reconciliation of Science and Religion

The Human Being’s Duty to Himself and to God

“…A God without humanity or a humanity without God can not constitute a religion. Those who wish to annihilate the human verb blaspheme, like those who deny the divine verb.

The autonomy of man is necessary to his divine binomial.

To really merit or deserve something from God, one must obey God. But to obey God one must have an independent will. The slave does not obey, he undergoes.”

-Paraphrase from Letter #34 of Eliphas Levi to his student Baron Spédalieri
available in the Editor’s Appendix of The Reconciliation of Science and Religion

“The man who damns himself (according to catholic theology) is the one who does not succeed in saving himself.

Sinning, is lacking happiness.

The man who does not succeed is always at fault: either in literature, or in morality, or in politics.

Bad is, in every sense, the beautiful and the good poorly accomplished.”

-From the First Section of The Reconciliation of Science and Religion by Eliphas Levi

The Education of the Human Being’s Willpower

“Human life and its innumerable difficulties have as their goal, in the order of eternal wisdom, the education of the willpower of man. The dignity of man consists in doing what he wills, and in willing the good, in accordance with the science of the true.”

“Nothing resists the willpower of man, when he knows the truth and wills the good.”

“The good conforms to the true, which is what is just.

Justice is the practice of reason.

Reason is the verb of reality.

Reality is the science of the truth.

Truth is the idea which is identical with being.

Man comes to the absolute idea of Being through two paths, experience and hypothesis.

Hypothesis is probable when it is necessitated by the teachings of experience; it is improbable or absurd when it is rejected by this teaching.

Experience is science, and hypothesis is faith. True science necessarily admits faith; true faith necessarily keeps account scientifically.”

-From Ch. 1 of Book 2 of The Key to the Great Mysteries by Eliphas Levi
available in the Editor’s Appendix of The Reconciliation of Science and Religion

The Creation and Development of Real Faith

If Eliphas Levi says that “Experience is science, and hypothesis is faith”, then Samael Aun Weor goes even further saying:

“Faith is the direct perception of the real; [it is] fundamental wisdom; [it is the] experience of that which is far beyond the body, the affections and the mind.

Distinguish between faith and belief. Beliefs are found stored in the Intermediate Mind, Faith is a characteristic of the Interior Mind. Unfortunately, there is always the general tendency to confuse belief with faith.

Although it seems paradoxical, we emphasize the following: “WHOSOEVER HAS TRUE FAITH DOES NOT NEED TO BELIEVE.”

This is because authentic faith is living knowledge, exact cognition, and direct experience.”

-From Ch.12 of The Great Rebellion by Samael Aun Weor

So, for Samael Aun Weor, Faith is experience, the direct perception of what is real. Right now, we experience life through our senses and through our beliefs, prejudices, opinion, concepts, etc. So we need to do something in order to experience “the real”.

This ‘something’ is a key in order to access the superior world and includes the practices given in the Gnostic Teachings: meditation, vocalization, prayers, invocations, as well as other techniques and methods. By implementing these practices into our lives we establish a devotional attitude which changes the way we perceive our lives and therefore our experience. And this explains why Levi says:

“Faith proves itself and establishes itself through absolute devotion.”

-From Ch.2 of Book 2 of The Key to the Great Mysteries by Eliphas Levi
available in the Editor’s Appendix of The Reconciliation of Science and Religion

“Every alchemist, kabalist and psychologist should have faith. Faith is not empirical, we have to create it. It is created by studying oneself and experimenting with oneself.”

“…one needs to study the Epistle of James which is for those who work in the Great Work… It is necessary for the Great Work and the psychological work to be supported with faith, because faith is manifested in works.”

of The Revolution of the Dialectic by Samael Aun Weor

So Faith is direct experience of “the real” which manifests itself through our actions (our works).

“My brothers, what is the gain if anyone says he has faith, but he does not have works? Is the faith able to save him?

But if a brother or a sister is naked and may be lacking in daily food, and any one of you say to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled, but does not give them the things the body needs, what gain is it?

So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself.”

-From the Universal Epistle of James or Book of James Ch.2 v14-17

Faith without works (actions or doing) is dead. Remember that “the verb is begun with letters”, but it too is “achieved with acts“. This is why we have faith in someone who keeps their word, because their behavior has shown us that their word (or verb) is accomplished: they do what they say.

So we must seek to experience “the real” in order to establish authentic faith within ourselves. In this way we can begin to have direct knowledge of all the subjects discussed in Gnosis and then these teachings will be more than just concepts.

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