BEING LIFTED INTO ANOTHER REALM
Every human being on earth possesses a tree of life. It consists of the physical spine with its 33 vertebrae and the serpent-fire which surrounds it. This fiery flow of energy is the channel through which consciousness is transferred to the physical nervous system of humans. Although in a biological sense man is a living being, from the gnostic perspective we can no longer speak of a Tree of Life. In the current state of the individual and of humanity in general, the tree of life is crystallised and too much damaged to be able to endure the fire power of the Holy Spirit.
In the current situation the forces circulating in the serpent fire are attuned to life in the material world. That is, after all, the world where we are aware at this moment, the world we can perceive through our senses and in which we lead our lives. Our Life-tree is perfectly suited to life in the physical world; and its astral counterpart, the once so glorious Tree of Life has fallen into a desolate stump as the prophet Isaiah put it very aptly. But those who have ever looked beyond the sad sight of a felled tree in a forest or garden, know that a full tree can grow again even out of a seemingly lifeless stump. It begins with a small shoot, somewhere on the side.
And so it is with the human being: it starts with the light-touch from the spirit-spark in the heart, with the kiss-of-light. As a result the kundalini of the heart begins to flow again and a small ray of light emerges from the root of the tree. It was written in Isaiah:
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear…
This prophecy from the Old Testament is often regarded as the announcement of the birth of the saviour. In the gnostic sense this is quite true: every human being possesses the spirit nucleus in the heart through which the redemptive cosmic Christ-power can be received. The prophecy of Isaiah applies to every human being, in particular in the time-period in which we now live. The goal behind current cosmic conditions is to bring forth a new tree from the stump.
Due to the actual biological state of the human race, however, it is not easy to free the soul from its captivity. Heart and mind are focused on this world where fears and sorrows predominate. The energy-flows in the serpent-fire are conform to this state. Often it is only possible to open the heart for the life of the soul through a major life shock. A profound life experience can make the heart look in a different direction. Sometimes multiple shocks are required to keep the mind open for the life of the imprisoned soul. Then the comforting light-power from the life field of the soul can descend into the wounded heart. It is the baptism with living water.
The kundalini of the heart rises from the heart and begins its way upward to the human head, where it opens the latent spiritual powers which have been planted there as seeds for the evolution of the sevenfold personality. The pure light-power from the heart purifies the physical organs of thought, literally lifting them to a higher level of activity. Thoughts of the lower nature such as jealousy, envy or criticism will be dismissed from within. And once a certain minimum degree of purity is reached, the light-power also descends into a special organ in the middle of the head, the pituitary gland. It is the baptism in living fire.
And then comes the most exceptional and most spiritual process that can occur in a person’s life: the construction of the Tree of Life in the living biological human being, from the shoot in the heart. The light-power descends along the right strand of the sympathetic nerve, symbolised by Mary – Martha’s sister – right down to the root chakra. This chakra is where the karma flows into the personality and manifests itself as character, as talents and shortcomings, as likes and dislikes. The karma directs us through the school of life and is symbolically represented as a coiled serpent at the root chakra. The light descends into this darkest part of the human being, into the place where the microcosm is rooted in the world of matter. The old tree-of-Life is literally uprooted by the light so that subsequently the light-power can continue its upward course along the left nerve strand to open the crown chakra for its true task.
A man in this state is like a caduceus, the new Staff of Mercury. Jacob’s ladder in Genesis 28, with its foot on the earth and its top in heaven, also refers to the new serpent-fire. Angels – manifestations of God – descend and ascend along this heavenly ladder through the open gate of the crown chakra: Verily, verily, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
The Gospel of the Holy Twelve 10:10
The ascending and descending of the power of the Seven-Spirit can be seen as the breath of God. The new tree is full-grown and the human being is literally ‘in the world but not of the world.’ With his biological personality he stands in the middle of the world of multiplicity and polarities, but as to his inner being, he is a citizen of the world of unity. He is a living bridge between heaven and earth. Now he can truly accept the task of being of service to the world and humanity on behalf of the light.
In the Gospels this is symbolically represented as the disciples who are sent out into the world by Jesus to preach and heal. The disciples symbolise the twelve pairs of cranial nerves, as to their physical and spiritual aspects. Jesus says: Anoint and heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils. Freely you have received, freely give. Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Be innocent and undefiled. There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; or hidden, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, speak that in light when the time comes, and what you hear in the ear, preach that from the housetops.
The Gospel of the Holy Twelve 17: 7, 9, 12-13
‘Preaching from the housetops’ is a symbolic indication for serving from the highest attainable state of being human: it concerns a physical human being who possesses a serpent fire of spirit-light. Such a person finds himself literally on the border between heaven and earth; he is standing ‘on top of the world.’ These servants are liberated from the lower forces of the ego; their old Life-tree has indeed been uprooted; heart and head have been purified by the light. Spontaneously they are harmless as doves and wise as serpents… Their light shines in the world and every word they speak carries light-power with it. They are like lifeboats in the sea of the world which deliver their precious, healing balm to all injured human souls.
With this living image in mind, we can approach the mystery of the Ascension. The ascension of Jesus is described at the end of the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, in chapter 180 of The Aquarian Gospel and in chapter 95 of The Gospel of the Holy Twelve. Why did Jesus ascend into heaven? Why did he not stay on earth in a visible body to help humanity? An essential aspect of esoteric Christianity is that at his ascension Jesus did not abandon humanity in order to return as a physical man in a distant future. Yes, at the ascension his sensorily perceptible form disappeared, but, at the same time the Christ-force of the soul was released from its ties to a physical appearance. From that moment onward it became available to all of humanity as an atmospheric phenomenon as a ‘garment without seam.’
This is in line with Jesus’ saying: I will be with you even unto the end of the world.
The Gospel of the Holy Twelve 44:6
At the same time Jesus informs us of his work in the heavenly realms to prepare them for the reception of the healed human microcosms. Therefore, he says: In my parent’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go, you know and the way you know. And the word which you hear is not mine, but the All-Parent’s who sent me. These things have I spoken to you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, who is my Mother, Holy Wisdom, whom the Father will send in my name, she shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you.
The Gospel of the Holy Twelve 72:1,10-11
We know that the characters and events from the Gospels function as symbols for inner spiritual forces and events. In the microcosmic sense, Jesus is the new soul that becomes mature as a result of going the Gnostic spiritual path. He can make use of a completely new personality, a new sevenfold immortal bodily figure. This new body is also referred to as the glorified body or the resurrection body. This renewed immaterial body can only develop in and through the connection with a mortal natural bodily figure, just as every unborn child grows in his natural mother while being connected to her by the umbilical cord. Only through this connection can the child grow.
But from a certain point the new being has to proceed more or less independently; it is what we call ‘born.’ More specifically: the child traverses from one life-environment to another, where he is obliged to breathe in a new way. There he will continue his life and develop into adulthood. That is only possible if the umbilical cord is cut. Similarly we can approach the inner ascension for the pupil of the soul who has matured to this stage. The renewed bodily figure must be severed from the mortal human being so that he can be ‘born’ in his natural habitat, the realm of the soul.
Therefore Jesus has to ‘ascend into heaven’, he has to retire into the divine realm. For only there is the liberated Man himself able to breathe in the powers of the spirit and thus liberate the power of the Holy Spirit, the comforter, for all those who are open to it. But it is an area where ordinary consciousness has no access. Only the soul is able to live and have experiences there. For those who follow the gnostic path it requires special readiness to serve, unshakable inner knowledge and exceptional love for the All, in order to let this process take place within himself.
After the ascension the microcosm is fundamentally liberated from the ‘world of good and evil’ in which he became entangled after the fall. The wheel of birth and death has ceased to turn. Each fallen microcosm is destined to go this way, a way on which the personality is left behind on the earth to fulfil his role as a torchbearer as long as possible. The physical being, symbolised by the disciples, may fall into despair and uncertainty about the authenticity of the process that he can no longer perceive in any way. He must let go of his old certainties once again.It is written that Jesus ascended into heaven in a cloud, and that he will return in a cloud. This ‘returning’ or ‘second coming’ of Christ is one of the most fundamental aspects of the Christ-mystery: the Christ-power is the energy of the cosmic mystery school, available to everyone. This force wants to express itself in each individual who proceeds on the Gnostic path of the rebirth of the soul, no matter where in the world that person may find himself. It wants to reveal itself to the inner knowing and become active as a cloud of new power in the human aura.
Each time a group of people striving for this lofty goal sail out together on their common quest, they form a collective power field. Then it is possible that their collective ‘body’, their ark, can become pure to such a degree that it reaches the spiritual stage of the ‘return of Christ.’ It can be found worthy to be connected to the universal brotherhood and become a link in the apostolic chain. Then all members of the group will partake of the grace of an intense touch of the Holy Spirit.
We conclude his reflection with a passage from chapter 95 of The Gospel of the Holy Twelve.
Having said these things, he lifted up his pure and holy hands and blessed them. And it came to pass that while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and a cloud, as bright as the sun, received him out of their sight, and as he went up some held him by the feet and others worshipped him, falling on their faces to the earth. While they gazed steadfastly into heaven, two stood by them in white clothing, and said, “You men of Israel, why do you stand gazing into the heaven; this same Jesus who is taken from you in a cloud, and as you have seen him go into heaven, so shall he come again to the earth.”
The Gospel of the Holy Twelve 95:6-7