(Collection D – Whare Ra#445)
Taking the ceremony as a whole you will see that it may really be separated into two aspects. On the one hand there is the historic and descriptive side; on the other, there is the Personal Initiation of the Candidate.
Concerning the first there is little to be said; it may be accepted at its face value and should be carefully studied. But the second aspect requires much thought and illumination if it is to be fully understood.
The Ceremonies of the Outer Order are chiefly concerned with the lower principles – chiefly but not altogether, for the Chiefs seated on the Dais and taking little or no part in the action of the Ceremony, represent the presence of the Higher Principles; at the 0=0 one or other of them gives a few words of encouragement or advice to the Candidate, and others superintend the administration of the obligation at the signing of the Roll, while all take part in the Repast. But they remain in the back-ground until the Portal, when the three Chiefs take an actual share in the Candidate’s advancement. Even then, however, they wear the composite robes, which may be taken to represent the transition between the Outer and the Inner – the awakening of the Ego to the dim consciousness of the Higher Planes and Powers within his reach.
And here I want to point out that the robes and insignia of the Officers are always significant. The gradual transition from the black with gleams of white on to the gorgeous colouring of the three Adepti is not theatrical but contains a profound symbolism.
Now let us consider the 5=6 Ritual. The knocks are in sixes – the number of Tipherath; and these ceremonial knocks should always be given sharp, resonant, clear-cut for they denote the colour vibrations. Of course one ought really to have special incense and flowers for each grade but hither-to that has proved a counsel of perfection.
The Candidate enters and asserts his pretensions only to be reproved and admonished to humility where-upon he retreats and appears prepared for the offering and dedication of all those lower Principles which have been awakened previously. In the earlier ceremonies these have indeed been purified and consecrated; now upon the Cross of Suffering he must voluntarily offer them up for service under the attestation of the Great Avenging Angel HUA. Who is HUA? The Name is not given in any of the Outer Knowledge Lectures. Let us transliterate it into Hebrew and see if that gives us a clue – Heh-Vav-Heh. There we find that it is in fact a familiar name but usually given in English under the lettering EVE. So then it is the prototype of all humanity – The Mother of Life, who is evoked to witness our pledge that we will henceforth pursue the Great Work – the union of the Ego with the Christ – the transition of the old to the new Dispensation. And to emphasize this we also undertake to work unassisted – that is we must no longer depend on the help or instruction of others – we must set ourselves to accomplish our task and surmount all difficulties independently.
This part of the Ceremony is completed by the invocation (please distinguish clearly between evocation and invocation) of the three Supernal Witnesses – the Spirit – The Logos, and the Father – and Their Counterparts in Man the Spirit, the Water and the Blood; and the solemn adjuration concerning the second birth and union with the Christ.
We may pass over the Historical interlude which follows and consider the next step in advancement.
The Candidate so far has been under the guidance of the Hodos Chamelionis – who may be taken as representing the awakening Ego who can indeed put him in contact with Mind and Soul, but not with the Supernals. In the second point the H.C. no longer takes part. The two Higher Officers themselves lead him through the hitherto bolted and guarded door into the “Inner Chamber” – the compendium of the Universe as it is reflected in his sphere of Sensation. There they rededicate him in silence – the interior dedication which completes the exterior obligation – and direct him to demand the unsealing of the Casket or Pastos.
Now in considering this second point of the Ceremony you must keep three ideas clearly before you or you will not fully understand the significance of what follows. Hitherto the Ceremonies have been concerned entirely with the development of the individual Candidate, the awakening and purification of his own Principles and Chakras. Now he is confronted with two greater aspects of our Order. He is told that the Vault and Altar represent the Universe – mark you it is the Universe, not the World that is thus presented to our consciousness. Secondly he is instructed to open the Pastos of the Founder of the Order. He is therefore confronted with the image of the Cosmic Christ which governs as it were, the central point of the whole circumference of the Universe; with the figure of our Founder who represents the Christ Principle in the whole Order; and with the Christ Principle in himself. He must himself awaken that sleeping potency with the Wand surmounted by the winged sphere. Why is this necessary? To answer that question we must pause to consider the symbolism of the Wand. The staff of it is formed of the three primary colours which are equivalent to the three Mother Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet and the three primeval forms of matter – heat, light and moisture between the positive and negative poles, black and white, light and darkness. And this staff, corresponds to the central pillar of the Tree of Life, (the trunk of the Tree so to speak), is surmounted by the Sphere and the Everlasting Wings with the two vital Principles of Creation, the masculine and feminine; shown forth as the Crowned Serpents, dual forces of Kundalini completely risen and transmuted as shown by their crowns. It is therefore because the highest within himself has already imparted the awakening impulse to the lower powers that these in turn are enabled to call upon the higher and to perceive the Hidden Adept. Here then is the interpretation of the Admission Badge of the Sword and Serpent; the descending and ascending vibrations.
But at first the awakening is incomplete.
Man must listen to the still small voice and ponder over its words before he can receive illumination. He must practice contemplation, self-restraint and balanced equilibrium; therefore he receives the Crook and Scourge and with his arms folded across his breast he goes forth for a time to the Porch of the Temple.
Even when he is admitted it is by degrees.
The Casket has been transferred, open and empty, to the Outer Court and standing beside it he listens to the voice, louder and clearer now, reciting its Litany of Eternal Life; and as he listens the secondary voices direct his attention to Christ Crucified and Glorified. He must recognise that the Christ in Him is, as it were, a refraction of the Christ of the whole Universe, and the knowledge comes to him through the Christ Principle of the whole Order.
So then, when he again enters the Inner Chamber it is to find indeed the Risen Lord but beheld dimly by the lights of the Outer Court.
And the voice again claims the recognition of the Cosmic Christ “I know that my Redeemer Liveth” – the Christ of the Man must acclaim the Christ of Humanity before he can pass on to the recitation of his own function and experience – “I am the way, the Truth and the Life – no man cometh to the Father but by Me – I am the Purifier, I have passed through the Gates of Darkness into Light.” It is only when the Christ in Man has passed through crucifixion and burial that the Man himself may approach the Father.
And when he looks back through the ages and identifies himself with the Truth which had been revealed since the beginning “I am the “Sun” – the visible emblem of the Logos as beheld by natural man – “I am Amoun” the concealed Spirit underlying Nature. “I am Osiris” the GOD made Manifest.
And with that comes the shout of triumph – “I am the Lord of Life – triumphant over Death – there is no part of me that is not of the Gods.
For with the recognition of GOD ETERNAL, Immortal, Invisible; who hath not left us without a witness of Himself – comes also the knowledge that “I am He and He is I.”
And in necessary sequence comes the cognition of the Pathway of Illumination and the dazzling brilliance of the undimmed vision.
Little more need be said. The Neophyte is raised and standing with his arms crossed – his hands still grasping the Crook and Scourge and his face to the West – he is sealed by the three Adepti – the three seals corresponding to the three centers of life through which the Divine Brilliance must henceforth circulate. Therefore he is given the formula of the words of Power, in the I.N.R.I. we are reminded once more of our recognition, in one brief phrase, of the Lord Jesus, of GOD Immanent in all His works – and that the Kingdom of GOD is within us. And in the completed sign and words is resumed the reminder that the Trinity is an Eternal Truth common to all revelation — that the struggle between Light and Darkness is in fact the mode of manifestation decreed from the foundation of the Earth, to be resolved in the Light of the Cross. Therefore the password of the Grade is ______ the _____ which re-echoes down the Halls of Time – but the Grand Word is ______ ________ GOD made Manifest.
Finally after the brief exposition on the constituents of the Grade the Aspirant is received before witnesses, no longer into the particular group or Temple in which he had been trained but into the whole Order – and he is given the simple method by which a fellow member may be ascertained, even while he is also warned against publicly claiming membership.