Glimpses of Esoteric Christianity Part 3
There are several versions and interpretations concerning Man's Fall to be found in the Western Tradition.This particular doctrine can be said to be the foundation from which all other doctrines and tenets of esotericism are built upon; for without a "fall," why would there be a "salvation"? Why should there be a striving towards perfection, wholeness and unity? Man in his present state of being finds himself isolated, alone, and fragmented. Man subconsciously feels a certain loss of being, a sense of disorientation towards Life, Nature, and his fellowmen. He seeks, not knowing what he is seeking. He pursues earthly goals, and when attained, it leaves him dissatisfied and unfulfilled. Gradually, the realization dawns upon him that his energies are being misdirected, misspent towards ephemeral goals with no absolute value. He then commences his search and journey towards higher goals and spiritual endeavours.
But how shall one tread the Path of Return? To know the Way of Ascension, one has to discover how man's descent occurred, how he originally lost his divine estate. What brought about Man's Fall? After studying the various traditions perpetuated by the Bard's of humanity, each student would arrive at his own interpretation and conclusion as to what actually occurred in the beginning of Time. Although personal opinions, speculations, assumptions and convictions may not be facts, and should not be treated as such, they do give us a working knowledge to commence our mystical work--in an experimental manner, especially when inner or spiritual guidance is lacking. We will present the doctrine of Man's Fall according to our level of understanding:
Universes, like any other organism, or aggregate, come and go. They are created by the Shakti, or power of God, sustained for a period, a cycle, called "Manvantara," and then dissolved, destroyed, or absorbed back again into the Source, to be recreated or re-emanated once again in a "New Day." It is appropriate here to say that Esoteric Christianity is essentially emanationistic in its cosmo-conception, its cosmology. This means that God, or Omneity, emanated beings and spiritual worlds from ITS own Womb. However, the emanations do not possess independent existence; all is an expression, or active manifestation of Omneity or "Allah." All, in fact, is Omneity; and yet Omneity is definitely more. This is the immanence and transcendence of God. Separation is an illusion, a play of the senses. The process of Activity and Rest, or Manvantara and Pralaya, is eternal; and its purpose is incomprehensible to man. We will not speak more on this as it would only cause confusion.
During one of the active cycles, Humankind, called "Adam Kadmon," or "Anthropos," was emanated by that great expression of Omneity called "Logos." Adam Kadmon is the collective name of the Fragments composing its being. Sometimes Adam Kadmon is identified by scholars as the Creative and the Solar Logos. This is questionable, as some mystics have differentiated the three; perhaps it is analogous to our physical body which is constituted of cells, each of which is a being, a unit of Life. Now, although the physical body is not our Self, it does have an elemental consciousness all of its own. Adam Kadmon's relationship to the Solar Logos is somewhat similar: the Solar Logos, is the Self; the Creative Logos, or collective Elohims--the elemental consciousness of the physical body; and the cells are the Fragments, the Monads of Man, or collectively, Adam Kadmon. The Fragments of Adam were individualized in previous cycles and were ready to resume their evolution towards a Divine Self-Consciousness.
There is another Logos to consider--the Redemptory Logos. This being or principle is not one and the same as the previous Logoi mentioned above. Within man, the microcosm, this Logos is the "Atma-Buddhi-Higher Mental," collectively called "the Holy Christ Self."
Prior to Adam Kadmon's emanation, the Godhead emanated "Perverse Beings," as called by Martinez Pasquales. Certain Gnostics call them as a collectivity, "Sacla," "Samael," and "Iladabaoth." These beings were the laggards of previous cycles that did not quite make the grade and were mercifully given another chance to live harmoniously with the Cosmic Laws, which are the laws of their existence, the laws of their being, and evolve accordingly. It is taught in a certain occult philosophy that the disobedience of such laws would eventually cancel the core-identity of their being, the fiery-essence of their identity on "Judgment Day," at the end of the present cycle should their conversion to holiness (wholeness) not be forthcoming. This is the "second death" and is an expression of Divine Mercy, for to allow these beings continued existence as spirits would cause them needless anguish, pain, and suffering--all of which are of their own making. Though newly re-emanated, Sacla did not repent, and the evil way of thinking which almost became second-nature to him, resumed. Because of pride and ignorance, he willfully denied the existence of his source and believed himself the creator of the Universe. The desire to be worshipped and to act as the Supreme Being, in creating other beings, eventually caused the downfall of Sacla. John Bricaud in his work "Esoteric Christian Doctrine," has this to say about the Fall:
" . . certain heads of the angelic hierarchy refused to obey the laws which govern the pleroma; that they wanted to go over to degrees higher than their class without fulfilling the required condition, which caused great disorder in the pleroma."
This state of spiritual denial and opposition caused anarchy and pandemonium. Most of the angels fell as a result. At the head of the rebellion was a being, traditionally known as "Lucifer," "Athamas," and "Orphiomorphos."
To coerce these fallen angels to obedience would have been a violation of the Law of Free Will that Omneity had established. Therefore, to contain their perversity, their evil thoughts, the lower spiritual planes were emanated by Omneity to circumscribe and contain the activities of these rebels of the spirit; to limit the power of their influence upon the pleroma and higher heavens. The principles or component parts of these beings were automatically densified or crystallized according to natural laws as a result of egoic-focus.
In reality, Cosmic Laws in their totality is the expression of Omneity--is Omneity. Disharmony with one's spiritual nature naturally densifies one's being and restricts the mobility of one's soul and spirit. This was what occurred to Sacla. He rebelled against the law of his being and degraded, and circumscribed his expression as a consequence. Evil limits the extension of itself by the nature of its own low vibrations. This is the reason why evil in any form cannot exist in the celestial worlds. It was not Omneity who punished directly, but a natural response of the Law of Cause and Effect. To oppose the Will of God is in effect the opposition of the laws of one's existence. It is incorrect to say that Omneity punished the fallen angels, for this would imply that Omneity is directly concerned with, and recognizes states of duality, which in fact means that God is aware of something other than ITS own existence. This is illogical from the Absolute view-point, as taught in philosophies of a non-dual conception of Reality, such as Advaita Vedanta. There is only God--all else are illusions. All mystics agree with this.
After the Fall of the rebel angels, Adam Kadmon was re-emanated to resume his journey towards Godhood, and to be the warden of the perverse beings; or in other words, to be the director of their evolution. Adam was in an intermediate state. He was attuned with the Cosmic Mind and at the same time felt the evil thoughts of the perverse beings. Although emanated after the perverse beings, he was somewhat "loftier" in spiritual status, by virtue of his being pure--and innocent, for his mental being was as yet germinal--this was the state of Adam's paradisical bliss--a blissful ignorance, for he had not yet tasted the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge; he had an unawakened mental nature.
Now, Adam as warden, was supposed to induce purity into the perverse beings with his spiritual nature; he, however, was influenced by their telepathic suggestions of rebellion towards the tasks at hand. More than that, Sacla made Adam believe that he would, and could resemble God by consuming the forbidden fruit--and create like Omneity. And so, with his autonomous free will, Adam attempted to create but ended-up bungling the job. He created the physical plane of dense matter which he called "Eve." He then populated the plane with shadowy beings unfit for the Spirit to dwell.
That a creator other than Omneity (God) created the physical plane was a strong belief among the ancient Gnostics. This imperfect creator, called the "Demiurge," created an imperfect hylic world. However, this very condition gave the Fragments a greater opportunity for accelerated growth. Exoterically, "The Great Architect of the Universe," the Demiurge, or P'an Ku, as the Chinese philosophers call him, was a contributing cause of the bondage of his constituent parts, in the same manner that we at times make the cells of our body a slave to ill health by our inharmonious thoughts and feelings. Esoterically, however, T.G.A.O.T.U is a mastermind of Cosmic evolution. For matter, with all of its resistance to control by interacting intelligences, offer spiritual discipline to juvenile spirits.
Adam was so enchanted by his creation that it gradually entrapped him. This condition is illustrated in the Greek Mysteries by the allegory of Narcissus, who was so absorbed and fascinated by his own reflection in a pond that he fell into it and perished--spiritually speaking. Adam forgot his true identity as he identified himself with his caricature. All previous powers that he possessed were lost in the mist of Self-forgetfulness. It was the misuse of free will that caused his Fall, and it was his ignorance, his Self-forgetfulness that constituted the "original sin." His "punishment" was more severe than the rebels of the angelic hierarchies for he carried-out his wayward intentions to completion, something with which the rebel angels did not have the opportunity to consummate. The Fall of Man is dramatized in various ancient Mystery Schools, in the myth of the hero-god slained, and the kidnapping and rape of Persephone. The mythos of the crucified Christ is just a perpetuation of the Cosmic event which occurred before time.
Adam, before his fall, was not aware of his Source. Being ignorant he considered himself as the highest being, just like Sacla before him. Pride, desire and ignorance were the major causes contributing to his entrapment within the tomb of matter. This unfortunate state of mind, this level of consciousness, is to be found among the masses today. Many are ignorant of the divine potential of man, the Cosmic verities, the existence of an Absolute Supreme Being, higher intelligences, and the spiritual worlds; and this sorry state misdirects their energy-forces into thoughts and actions that are detrimental to their spiritual well-being. From one point of view, Man has never really left his Edenic state. The apple he consumed has produced the delusion of separation from his Source. His consciousness is blinded by what we personally call "Maya-grams," or "forms of unreality" by our definition--and these Mayagrams man considers absolutely real. Absolute Reality is that which is eternal; Mayagrams are ephemeral, the stuff of which dreams are made. Man relegates his Edenic-Reality to the background of his consciousness and hypnotizes himself with fleeting things; he thus finds himself apparently denuded of divine qualities and faculties. The serpent that tempted Man, as recorded in the allegorical book of Genesis, to consume the apple--the apple of forgetfulness--as seen from one perspective, represents the Law of Evolution, the creative impulse of the pulsating Center of All. This is represented in the Mystery Schools by a snake coiling an egg. The principle of this symbol is the evolutionary urge inherent within Life, within Man's being that prompted him to descent into matter, to unfold his divinity, and to ascent to his God-estate.
The perverse beings later joined man on the physical plane, and they are with us today. Their characteristic wickedness as we are all familiar, have their strong influence in the political, economic, social, scientific and religious fields. We see that humankind, therefore, are divided roughly and symbolically into two lineages: the perverse beings, the "descendants of Cain," and the Fragments of Adam Kadmon, the "posterity of Seth." One way of classifying man according to Esoteric Christianity is the threefold division:
1) Hylic, the individual who lives solely according to his carnal nature, "the dead," as designated by Jesus.
2) Pneumatic, the individual who lives in accord with his spiritual being, the type of personality called by Jesus, "the quick."
3) Psychic, the individual who lives in an intermediary state, or what Jesus called "luke-warm."
The above are the basic three natures of man. Man, however, does not represent solely of the human race. There are angels, fallen angels, titans, and other beings incarnated in the shadowy form of Adam Kadmon. The "sons of God" did cohabit with human spirits to produce hybrids as told in Genesis and the Books of Enoch.
The whole drama of Man's Fall corresponds with the four worlds or stages of development in the Qabalah:
1) Atziluth, the World of Archetypes, corresponds with the impetus and commencement of a new Manvantara.
2) Briah, the World of Creation, corresponds with the emanations of beings; the period of the rebellion of the angels.
3) Yetzirah, the World of Formation, corresponds with the creation of the lower spiritual realms and the actual fall of the rebel angels.
4) Assiah, the World of Activity, corresponds with the creation of the physical plane and the Fall of Man.