Karl Friedrich Altoff
by Ilse Althoff
all rights reserved
There are as many translations of a work like this as there are translators. This text was written in a semi-ecstatic state, and makes great use of the poetry of German to try to convey to the reader a similar state and the vision that one experiences within that state. This particular translator has a fairly extensive background in the subject discussed which has both advantages and disadvantages. My inclination was not to translate things so literally, but rather to render as lucidly as possible my understanding of the essence of the text. I have fairly frequently reorganized sentences, even left out roots which appear in the original in an attempt to make the English more readable. I don't see this as better or worse than any other approach; it is only the one that spoke most to me. I think the reader would benefit from reading a someone else's translation done in a different, more literal style.
An example will make clearer what kinds of alternatives were available, and the types of decisions I have made:
Althoff writes: Hörend und tönend lebt der Mensch des Urstands aus dem Walten des Logos, der dem Urgrund des Vaters entstammt.
Literally: Hearing and resounding, the person of the primordial state lives out of the ruling/governing of the Logos, which originates in the primordial ground of the Father.
I translate: In hearing and speaking, the primordial man lives out of the law of the Logos, which finds its source in the Father.
Althoff writes: Die Zusammenhänge zwischen Ohr-Kehlkopforganisation und Zeugungskraft deuten auf das Wirken der Stiersphäre als Ausdruck des Wollens und der Sprachkraft, wie beides miteinander und ineinander wirkt.
Literally: The relationships between ear-glottis organization and procreation-power point to the effecting of the sphere of the bull as an expression of the will and the power of speech, how both work within one another and with one another.
I translate: This relationship between the structure of ear/throat and the power of procreation is suggestive of how the willfulness implicit in the house of Taurus resides in the power of speech.
The literal translation (actually, I don't believe there's any such thing as a literal translation, which is part of the reason I grant myself such license)... The more literal translation conveys better the ecstatic music of the original, it seems to me. But when I read such an English translation, I don't really understand what it's saying.... in the second example, not at all. However, when I go back to the original, it feels like much more normal speech, and is therefore more comprehensible to a German, than the corresponding English translation is to an English speaking person. In some cases this can get really extreme, especially when multiply compound nouns are employed in the original. And since the entire text is in this kind of language, I have endeavored to make it as readable as possible while losing as little of the music as possible.
I had the good fortune of discussing the issue of translation with a friend, who has translated from German professionally, and who has an amazingly wonderful English prose style. I don't give his full name as he in general prefers to remain anonymous. He offered a translation of the two first paragraphs of the discussion on 'm'. So for at least these two paragraphs, you can get a sense for the difference. I have resisted the temptation to improve my translation based on his.
Althoff writes: Im Lautlichen des m spricht sich ein Sich-Einfühlen, ein Eintauchen aus. Im Wasser drückt sich das aus, was mit den Lebenskräften zusammenhängt. Zugleich weist das Wasser auf Reinigung und Läuterung in den Mysterien, wie auch der m-Laut in der griechischen Sprache sich in besonderer Weise mit dem Mysterienhaften verbindet. Von dem Grundwort m´yo - schließe die Augen - werden gebildet m´yeo - weihe ein; m´ystes - der Myste, der Eingeweihte; mystérion - Mysterium, Geheimnis, Geheimlehre, Geheimwissenschaft, Sakrament; mystikós - mystisch; m´ychios - innerlich; mykhos - das Innere.
Auch der Moses-Name deutet auf ein Einweihungsgeheimnis - im Zusammenhang mit Wasser: Der jüdische Historiker Josephus wußte diesen Namen, den die Griechen durch Moyses wiedergaben, noch richtig aus dem Ägyptischen abzuleiten, nämlich aus Mo-udja: "durch Wasser (mo) hindurch eingeweiht (udja)". Moses führt das israelitische Volk durch das Rote Meer in eine Einreihung des gesamten Volkes hinein. Er führt es wie durch den Tod hindurch zu geläutertem Leben in geheiligter göttlicher Richtweisung. Diese ist einweihend-erziehende Hinführung zu dem Kommenden.
TK translates: In the phonetics of "m' there is expressed an empathic act directed into oneself, a plunging inwards connected with the Powers of Life and expressible in the context of Water. Water at the same time signifies purgation and a sounding in The Mysteries, just as in Greek the m-sound is in a special sense conjoined to matters connected with The Mysteries. Using the root word m'yo ---Close Thine Eyes--- one forms m'yeo ---Pledge Thyself!---; m'ystes - The Mystic, The Initiated, The Secret Knowledge, the Sacrament; mystikos - The Mystical; m'ychios - The Spiritual; mykhos - The Soul.
Even the name Moses prefigures a Secret Initiation -- and, indeed, in the context of Water: The Jewish historian Josephus knew this name, which the Greeks rendered as Moyses, quite correctly derived from the Egyptian, namely, from Mo-udja: "a rite of passage (udja) performed through Water (mo) in its entirety." Moses conducts the Israelites across the Red Sea directing their entry single-file, to form the entire Race into a line. He guides the Race, as if filtering it by passage through Death, to Life aligned by Divine Justification -- an initiatory object lesson which points the way to what's yet to come!
I translate: The m expresses a feeling into oneself, a baptism. The life force is expressed in the water. At the same time, water is associated with purification and comprehension of the mysteries, just as the m-sound in Greek is connected in an interesting way with the mysteries. M´yeo - 'initiate'; m´ystes - 'the mystic, the initiated one'; mystérion - 'Mystery, secret, secret teaching, secret knowledge, sacrament'; mystikós - 'mystical'; m´ychios - 'inner'; mykhos - 'the inside'... all of these are derived from the root m´yo - 'close the eyes'.
Also the name 'Moses' is associated with spiritual initiation in connection with water. The Jewish historian Josephus knew this name, which the Greeks translated as Moyses, in order to derive it correctly from the Egyptian Mo-udja: 'through water (mo) baptized (udja)'. Moses led the entire Israeli people through the Red Sea, aligning them in the process. He led them as if through death to purified life under holy, divine direction. This was the educational intiation and leadership regarding Him Who is coming.
On the Phoenicians and their System of Writing (the Original Alphabet)
In the midst of a civilized world, which wrote down its still dream-like thoughts in a complicated picture system - in Egypt: the hieroglyphs; in Babylonia: cuneiform, which was developed from pictorial symbols; and in China - there arose a purely alphabetic writing system in about 1200 BC, that is, under the sign of Taurus, the Bull. The Phoenicians are considered to be the inventors of this alphabetic system. Tradition names Taaut the inspirer of this development. This is apparently the same individual who was called Tahuti (Thot) by the Egyptians and Hermes Trismégistos by the Greeks. When one takes into consideration the incalculably high number of individual picture signs which hieroglyphic writing as well as Babylonian cuneiform employ - the number ranges in the thousands - one can imagine what a revolutionary new development this Phoenician alphabet was with its 22 signs. It was the work of an analytical spirit, which could break the word up into its individual consonant sounds and represent them with suitable symbols. With that, a step was accomplished, which made way for the development of intellectual thought. However, this writing system, which is also the Ancient Hebrew system, takes into consideration only the consonants, including the glottal stop, which even appears as the first letter of the alphabet. That is, there are no symbols for vowels: the vowels are, as it were, thought in as one reads, and they are of course also pronounced.
Not only are all Semitic writing systems direct descendants of these 22 symbols, but the Greek and Latin alphabets evolved from them as well. Consequently, one can view this Phoenician-Hebraic alphabet as the primordial alphabet - the mother alphabet - of all the major alphabets of Europe and the Middle East.
The Phoenician people have their name from the mystery of the Phoenix, which is secretly connected with the prechristian Grail movements of Saba. However, the Phoenicians actually called themselves Canaan, which means 'lowland'. Canaan therefore means 'lowlander'. This designation can be thought of not only superficially as a geographical or geological one; it can also be thought of as reflecting the unique task which lay before this people. While the Phoenician mystical tradition was still in its prime, it was oriented toward this earth and its destiny. As a result, there was much interaction between the Phoenicians and the closely related Hebrew people with their 'geological' religion. The Phoenicians were the master builders of Solomon's Temple. The mysterious relationship between Hiram (Hirâm = the free and noble), master builder from Tyros (Tûr = mountain), and Salomo (S·olômô = the peaceful), King of Israel, is mirrored in the relationship between "Canaan and Israel" or "Cain and Abel" - as it is described in the "Legend of the Temple".
Along bold, adventurous paths, the Phoenicians sailed the seas of the old world and visited the continents. From Northern Europe they brought amber, and from the African coasts, gold. For many centuries, their most important base, Carthage (Kart Hada´st = New City) and the Punic people, that is to say, the Phoenicians, were the ruling power in the Mediterranean. Indeed they defied the growing world power, Rome, until into the second century BC. Tradition has it that the Phoenicians had founded a great culture in Southern Africa in ancient times, and to this day there are those who in all seriousness try to prove that the Phoenicians had at least landed in Brazil, even if they never returned.*
The essence of the twenty two Phoenician or ancient Hebraic letters lies in that each of them represents a specific consonant. Each of these signs is a picture of something, not merely an abstract line drawing. Each of them also carries a name, and the name tells what the picture composed of these simple lines represents.This name, however, also designates the sound with which the naming word begins. It's as if we wanted to express the sound B by means of a simple symbol which represents a building, and named the letter 'Building'. This type of symbol naming is called acrophonia.
Because of the structure of the Semitic languages, which include Phoenician, Hebrew and Arabic, this writing system has only consonants. The writing systems of the Syrians, Aramaians and Arabs developed out of the Phoenician-Hebrew alphabet. The letters in these languages are variations of the original symbols.
According to Greek tradition, Cadmos, the Phoenician prince, brought writing to the Greeks. "Cadmos" is Hebraic "Kèdèm", meaning "Eastern, concerning ascent", while the name of his sister, whom Zeus stole by taking on the form of a bull is "Ewrópe", Hebraic "èreb", which means "Western, concerning descent". The Greeks took over the Phoenician symbols and assimilated the names of the letters to the sounds of their language. In this manner aleph became alpha, beth became beta, and so on. At the same time, they changed a whole series of Semitic symbols for velar sounds into symbols for vowels, so aleph became A, hê became E, hêth became Eta, jod became i, 'ajin became o, and wâw became u (y). The direction of the writing from right to left got replaced over time and started going left to right. The signs were thereby also reversed to their mirror images. The Etruscans, the Italiens, and later the Romans took over the variety of the writing which was used in Western Greece. It was in this manner that the Latin alphabet came into being. In the 9th Century, the Slavic apostles - Thessalonike, Kyrillos and Methodios - devised the Cyrillic alphabet for the various Slavic languages based on the Greek letters.
For an understanding of the signification of sounds, it will be important in the following presentations to be conscious of the fact that the Phoenician-Hebraic system of signs also contains sounds which don't exist in the European languages at all. Even the first letter of the original alphabet, from which the Greek and Latin A was constructed, namely 'aleph' is not an A in Semitic, but a consonant: it is the glottal stop, which one pronounces, but does not write in words or syllables beginning with a vowel; "´I ´am ´often ´abroad ´in ´Asia." Hebrew words with very different initial vowels like ´Abraham, ´Elohim, ´Isabel, ´On, ´Ur all begin with the same consonant (´aleph), just like the English words "live, love, laugh, learn, look" all begin with 'l'. Especially unusual velar sounds like H (a very sharp H-sound which is pronounced deep in the throat) or ` ( a very strained velar sound) and certain so-called emphatic sounds like T, S, and Q challenge one to an expanding experience of sound. If you look at the names of the letters, you can't avoid observing, that it is only the lack of spirituality in the modern scientific mentality which lures many of its advocates in the Oriental studies to want to see the names of the alphabetic characters merely as catchwords in the way that we use words for communicating spelling by telephone.
If we now refuse to believe that this original alphabet is nothing more than an arbitrarily organized list of sound symbols created for purely practical purposes, then a few facts stand out which may lead us to think that the the alphabetic sequence hides a deeper meaning within it. For example, there are psalms whose verses begin with the letters in alphabetical order. The most obvious of these is psalm 119. If one looks down the first letters of every line, one sees the alphabet repeated no less than 8 times: 8x22=176 lines in the psalm! The secret Hebraic teaching, as it was gradually developed and has continued into the present as the 'Kabbalah', places great emphasis on the ancient holy ordering of the symbols of the alphabet. In the texts of the Holy Book, one can discover indications that the Hebrews have long had such familiarity with the letters. For example, angels are authorized on the Day of Judgement to mark the foreheads of those who will pass in with the letter Taw - the cross sign of promised love, the last letter of the alphabet. (Ez. 1:4). When the priest or rabbi raises his hands for Aaron's victory, he spreads his fingers in such a way that the thumb stands on its own, the pointer and middle finger are together, and the ring and pinkie finger are together, forming the letter 'shin' both frontwards and backwards, which represents on the one hand "Shaddái" - the almighty shaker - and on the other hand "Shalom" - peace, inner solidity. However, 'shin' is not only this, but it is also that which can be experienced as the essence of the sound, namely 'sh'.
Jewish mysticism over time developed a mystical letter ordering, which already displayed signs of a certain decadence. A further area which is filled with mysteries is the "Gematria", a numerology, in which things and relationships in the world are experienced and interpreted according to the numerical values of the letters of the alphabet, with which the words are written. This, however, lies outside the bounds of our reflections, which are focussed toward penetrating the secret behind this ordering of the letters. These reflections are also independent of the scientific theories concerning the origin and development of the Phoenician alphabet.
In the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem, there's a scroll from Qumran on the Dead Sea, which undoubtedly due to its unique contents was preserved in Phoenician letters. The Hebraic writing in common usage around the time of Christ had evolved and distanced itself significantly from its original form. The old Phoenician writing system in its original form was, however, still known to the Essenes and was still used for texts which required particular secrecy. The young Jesus must have known these original signs and must have dealt with them. He would have penetrated much more deeply into their inner secret than the official carriers of the Jewish traditions of knowledge of his time. Their succession of images - the ox, the house, the camel, the gate, the window, the needle, the sword hilt, up to the cross - could have brought him directly to a secret revelation regarding his own path of life and death. There's an apocryphal childhood story which depicts how the young Jesus demands of his instructor that he "first tell him what the alphabet really is", and how the instructor no longer knows what to say. (see Reinhard Wagner, Die unbekannten Jahre Jesu, Verlag Urachhaus, p. 29) (translators note, see also The Lost Books of the Bible, Infancy I, II). Just such a tradition can show us the path to a deeper understanding of that which really can be found in this original alphabet, and how it can and must once again make visible to the modern seeker that which wants to be known: In its succession of images and sounds, the alphabet represents the path to an initiation. Next it appears as if this symbolic progression of images delivers the outer world to inner contemplation, together with the experience of the sounds. Every sound describes some aspect of the essence of the human being. The sequence of symbols describes the stages of the karmic and initiatory path. A deep consideration of this can lead to a more intimate understanding of them. There lie hidden in the symbols of this rune-like script deep secrets of the spiritual world, the earth and humanity, of the paths to God and of human destiny. These can be divined from things, or rather images of things, which lie completely within the domain of our conscious mind, which are often perverted unrecognizably, and which lie also hidden in the writing system. The original forms impatiently await their unveiling through loving, reverent beholding, consideration, and reflection in the disposition of Goethe: "Everything transient is but an image."
These strange and puzzling symbols, in which the young Jesus musingly and apprehendingly must have lived as if in a picture book are concealed also in our modern letters - the letters which accompany us unrecognized through our daily lives.
We now present the sequence of symbols in the Phoenician or Ancient Hebrew alphabet for initial, unbiassed contemplation. The direction of writing is from right to left:
If you now consider this sequence of symbols purely as a phenomenon, you are struck by how greatly it differs on the one hand from the classical Greek system, with its beauty of perfected form and also from the later square Hebraic letters, which arose in the early middle ages with its own beautiful writing forms - although, as already mentioned, both writing systems have their common origin in the Phoenician alphabet. The classical signs of the Hellenic world stand upright and solidly implanted in the world. Their forms reveal "divine necessity". The square Hebraic forms with their unique and characteristic stronger upper and lower horizontal lines, which are connected by strikingly thin vertical lines seem to express secrecy: as it is in Heaven, so on earth.
Two examples - a Greek one in classical letters and a Hebraic one in square letters can exemplify this:
By comparison, the Phoenician signs can be viewed as floating between Heaven and Earth, or as dancing and riding on the waves of a sea, which some adventurous Punic Phoenician sailed. There's nothing vertical, nothing stratified, nothing bound fast; they are almost like suspended imaginings or signs of abstract art, which seek to make the invisible visible...
The Sequence of Signs of the Original Phoenician-Hebrew Alphabet
The following systematic presentation of the orginal alphabet includes:
· the Phoenician or Ancient Hebrew symbol;
· the Hebrew symbol that had developed from it already in Christian times (square writing; when there are two forms, it is the leftmost letter which appears in final position);
· the name of the letter;
· the sound (multiple entries indicate positional distinctions);
· the letter name;
· the meaning of the letter and picture together with a mention of related issues which will be discussed later in the text.
In the pronunciation specification, the symbols we use here represent:
´: the simple glottal stop as in ´ un´ opened
`: a similar glottal stop pronounced deep in the throat
z: voiced s
ß: sharp s
r: is pronounced the the tip of the tongue
kh: is a dark velar fricative like the German 'ach'
th: English 'th' as in 'thin'
dh: English voiced 'th', as in 'the'
bh: like English v
w: like English w
g: voiced velar fricative like North German 'Wagen'
´s: a very lightly articulated sh
H is a very sharp h "like the hissing of a snake"
T and S are emphatic sounds both articulated with the tip of the tongue against the bottom teeth
q: is pronounced deep in the throat
y: y sound
In modern Hebrew (and also Arabic), many of the sound distinctions have disappeared: ´ and ` are now the same; H is like kh; T and th are the same; dh is like d; gh like g, S is tz in modern Hebrew; q is not unlike k; ´s like ß. Over vowels, the ´ indicates a closed primary stress, ` is a short open vowel, is a long vowel.
1. ´ ´âleph
ox, thousand - the age of Taurus, the larynx, language, Logos, man between heaven and earth
2. b, bh, v bêth
house, the inner - earthly house, incarnation, possibility of meeting "in the flesh", formation of destiny
3. g (gh) gîmel
camel - wandering in the desert, through which inner essence is preserved and carried, overcoming of difficulties, ripening, perfection
4. d (dh) dâleth
door, gate, entrance - transit, gate of initiation, the secret of death and becoming
5. h hê
opening for air, window - openness to the spirit, longing of the spirit toward the birth of a new person
6. w wâw
nail, hook, bolt - spiritual endurance, empowerment of the 'I', the power of the key, the "nail of the world"
7. z(=s) zájin
the hilt of a sword, weapon - the spiritual battle of the 'I' against worldly powers
8. H (ch) Hêth
fence, protective surrounding - definition and establishment of the 'I' against callous, debilitating powers
9. T Têth
container - fullness in the spirit; wine glass; goblet; bread crust; symbol of the conquering sun
10. y yôd
(raised) hand - consecrating effect of the spirit, light from within, streaming light, judgement, beacon, guiding light
11. k, kh kaph
(grasping) hand (palm) - apprehension by the spirit, use of the world of things, royal authority to act
12. l lâmed
ox-goad - direction of the spirit in teaching and learning, leading, guiding, shepherding in the priesthood and spiritual schooling
13. m mêm
water - usage of the powers of life, immersion, feeling into, purification of the baptism
14. n nûn
fish - usage of the powers of the soul, the path of release through death and resurrection, the sign of Jonah
15. ß ßâmekh
supporting beams - usage of the supportive powers of the 'I', the transverse power of destiny, the formation of destiny, washing of the feet
16. ` `ájin
eye, source - freedom from the bewitchment of the eye, surging forth of the spiritual spring or source into an understanding of the world through the imagination
17. p, ph, f pê
mouth - deployment of the holy powers of the creative word through inspiration
18. S (tz) Sádé
fish hook - "The fish is caught in order to be prepared as food", communion through intuition
19. q qòph
the back of the head - healing of the nerves and awareness of the human being, initiation of the intellectual being to Intellectus Spiritualis
20. r rêsh
head - elevation to the cross, death-wisdom of the higher I-essence
21. sh, ´s shîn
tooth - person of the world - wisdom of the resurrected thinking, the gift of fire with the Holy Ghost
22. t (th) tâw
cross, sign - the spiritual victory of redeeming love, the sign of Cain, the sign of Christ, the symbol of new creation
The Original Alphabet and the Gospel According to John - a Harmony
A detailed overview of the primordial alphabet and the Gospel according to John in its compositional structure reveals some important things. It can be seen that in the primordial alphabet, the same evolutionary principle is active that has also been in effect in the composition of the Gospel. The traditional, familiar division into chapters was first introduced in the end of the 12th century by the English Cardinal and Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, and the numbering of verses was introduced by the Hugenott humanist Robert Étienne in the 16th century. These divisions often seem unnatural, in that they frequently combine things which don't belong together, and separate things which do. In the 4th century, Eusebius von Caesarea had already attempted the very unfortunate experiment of dividing the text into paragraphs of equal length, which resulted in mincing the text up rather than organizing it. Mankind had by then already lost the sense for the original compositional reality.
In the following presentation of the individual signs we attempt to show how the progression from symbol to symbol reflects the meaning of the progressive chapters of the uninterrupted text of the Gospel of John. The structure which is yielded as a result, and which differs significantly from the traditional division into chapters, can also be seen just by carefully feeling into the structure of the Gospel independently of the considerations raised by the original alphabet. The next step is to recognize the inner concordence between the series of images in the original alphabet and the structure of the Gospel of John. However, by offering this analysis, we do not mean to imply that other valid perspectives on the structure of the Book of John do not exist.
The perspective taken here regarding its mysterious composition based on the original alphabet, for example, unites Christ's final speech into one (again richly subdivided) chapter (see the sign `ajin), which in the traditional chapter and verse numbering goes from 13:31 to 16:33. Within this speech, we again see a classification of the subchapters according to the guiding compositional principle of the original alphabet, so that this section of the final speech represents a micro-Gospel within a macro-Gospel.
However for both the entire Gospel and the section containing the final speech, the same principle applies: Their construction follows the steps of the spiritual path, the religious drama, as it has been since ancient times and as it has archetypally arisen anew in human worship and initiation.
By strictly and objectively correlating the symbols of the original alphabet with these chapters of the Gospel of John and vice versa, one can see how each throws light upon the other. Because of this, this presentation represents as a unified whole: the original alphabet and the Gospel of John both reflect the course of initiation in the world. This initiation constitutes a world religion.
The perspective adopted here yields 22 chapters in the book of John, just as there are 22 letters in the original alphabet. The prologue (1:1-18) must be seen as the first such chapter. The 'real' Gospel then begins with 1:19 and ends with 20:31, the so-called 'first conclusion'. The last chapter (21) makes up an epilogue, which is not of the pen of the apostle, but rather arose through the inspiration of the circle of his closest associates. This chapter 21 as we see it constitutes the 22nd chapter. There's a clear break in the Gospel between Christ's big speech at the end of the healing of the blind man and the raising of Lazarus, so that the first half of the Gospel can be viewed as more exoteric, and the second half as more esoteric. These relationships are reflected in the sequence of images and sounds of the original alphabet, so that if you separate off the glottal stop 'aleph', which stands semantically a little on its own anyway, and the final letter 'taw', you get two rows of ten letters with a break between kaph and lamed. This break corresponds to the abovementioned break in the book of John, and also, as we shall show, to a clear break in the final speech. The division between the two rows of ten letters can be seen particularly clearly in that both rows begin with a sequence of three related letters, which additionally form a polarity relative to one another: BGD - LMN.
The following chart of the letter names should make these relationships clear. The names themselves were explained earlier. At the extreme right and left ends stand the two special first and last symbols which were already mentioned. The two rows of ten are then placed so that the names which lie above one another also stand in contrast to one another in significance:
It's as if a double path of initiation were being expressed. We hope that the following presentation will make obvious the inner relationships between the symbolic images and the chapters of the Gospel of John:
The Original Alphabet as the Structural Principle Underlying the Book of John
|Steps of Initiation||Chapter||Symbol||Meaning|
|A. Entrance, The path of the Logos in the world||1:1-18||´aleph||1. prologue and epistle|
|B. Gospel , The Encounter John, Jesus, the first disciples||1:19-51||bêth||2. The epiphany of the Son of Man|
|C. Offertory||2:1-22||gîmel||3. beginning of the symbol (blood-body)|
|The revelation of Christ in word and deed||2:23-3:21||dâleth||4. Nicodemus (die and become)|
|3:22-36||hê||5. Johannes and Christ (I-that)|
|4:1-42||wâw||6. the Samaritan woman (grounding in the 'I')|
|4:43-54||zájin||7. healing of the fever|
|5:1-47||Hêth||8. healing of the lame|
|6:1-71||Têth||9. the bread of the coming one|
|7:1-8:59||yôd||10. the light of the world (light-I-judgement)|
|9:1-10:21||káph||11. the opening of the eye|
|D. Soundless smoke of the incense||10:22-39||lâmed||12. I and the Father are One, the laying of the founding stone renewal of the temple|
|E. Transformation||10:40-11:54||mêm||13. the raising of Lazarus|
|The revelation of the pilgrim||11:55-12:50||nûn||14. preparation for the release|
|13:1-30||ßámekh||15. the washing of the feet|
|22. the night on the Sea of Genezareth, epilogue||13:31-16:33||`ájin||16. final speech|
|(Lord's Prayer)||17:1-26||pê||17. the prayer of the high priest|
|F. Communion||18:1-27||Sadé||18. imprisonment of Jesus, Hannas, Kaiphas|
|18:28-19:16a||qôph||19. the trial of Jesus, Pilate, the mystery of Golgotha|
|19:16b-42||rêsh||20. death on the cross|
|20:1-31||shîn||21. the Resurrection|
|G. Departure, the path of the Logos in the future of the world||21:1-25||tâw||22. the night on the Sea of Genezareth, epilogue|
|1:19-10:21||exoteric through the inspiration of John the Baptist|
|10:40-20:31||esoteric from the personal inspiration of Lazarus-John|
This presentation is based on the text of the book of John in the Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece, 25 edition, copyright 1963, located in the limited access Biblical section in Stuttgart. This edition in many places confirms the subdivision into chapters outlined above.
The Sequence of Symbols in the Primordial Alphabet and the Gospel According to John
The first symbol:
Sound: ´ = glottal stop
Name: ´aleph = ox, Taurus, thousand
Image: the head of an ox with ears and horn, turned slightly to one side
This barely perceptible and finest of sounds - the glottal stop - can be thought of as representing that creative primordial puff of air, that Word which brought the world into being, which was in the beginning of all things, in the uprising from the primordial ground of the Father. The old astrology correlates the glottis and its inherent power of speech with the house of Taurus, which reigned over the height of Egyptian and Babylonian cultures. From the effects of the Logos - the Word of the world - unfolds the mysterious relationship especially between the throat and the ear, which are one in the embryo, and which are formed before the eye is formed. This is an obvious allusion to the origin of man, who lived only from the Word - the Logos - which rings through him. In hearing and speaking, the primordial man lives out of the law of the Logos, which finds its source in the Father. This relationship between the structure of ear/throat and the power of procreation is suggestive of how the willfulness implicit in the house of Taurus resides in the power of speech. The fact that the word ´aleph in addition to meaning 'ox' also means 'thousand' makes glaringly obvious how strongly this first letter of the alphabet emphasizes the notion of an 'age'. Just as the number 'ten' in ancient wisdom signified the essence of man, and 'hundred' signified the coherence of a people, so 'thousand' represented the period of time of a cultural epoch as it is limited and defined by the Zodiac which the sun goes through over the course of 2160 years. "´Aleph = ox and thousand", means that in this path described by the sequence of symbols from the 'ox' to the 'cross' the highest destiny of the age of the bull is fulfilled: the Word of the world prepares the path which leads to its incarnation in the form of the evolution of the authority of the Word. In the Egyptian culture, the sign of the 'Apis?-bull crowned by an orb of sunlight symbolizes the return of the Logos to the earthly house.
In the Phoenician-Hebrew language, the words for 'man' - ´âdâm, father - ´âb, the nature of God - ´êl, the essence of creation - ´elôhîm, earth - ´èrètz, I - ´ânôkî, light - ´ôr, fore - ´êsh all begin with ´aleph. According to the later Hebraic writing forms (see above right), ´aleph was interpreted as the symbol of man suspended between earth and Heaven, pointing upward with one hand and downward with the other, and saying, "On earth as it is in Heaven." These mystical words which first emerged from the mouth of Thot (Tahuti), which the Greeks named Hermês Trismégistos, resounded in the beginning of the Egyptian culture of wisdom, and find their fulfillment in the fifth line of the Lord's prayer: on earth as it is in Heaven. The double secret of the heavenly and the earthly Adam, which are related in the myths, sagas, and fairy tales (??Adam Cadmon, Castor and Pollux, Grimm's fairy tales) of the ancient traditions steps before the eye of our soul in the guise of this symbol and asks to be grasped by us... that man as well as his essential nature find their origin in Heaven to begin to live also on the earth.
In this way, this first symbol in the primordial alphabet with its sound and its image seeks to express the original secret of the Word and Man: out of the paternal source of the worlds emerges the creative force of the Word, the Logos; out of it emerges the essence of Man, gifted with the power of the Word. It existed in the very beginning in the realm of God and devoted itself by living through and within the Logos to the earthly path, that it might become an 'I' in an earthly body. In this way the image of man arises: he that is born of the Logos, the cosmic man that gives birth to the Logos, the Adam as the likeness of the creative Elohim. And so the linguistic man steps before the eye of our soul.
Through the conscious apprehension of this inaudibly tender sound which carries sound and creates sound, but which itself is not sound, through this sound which springs like a bud from the throat, man can learn again to celebrate language as the divine expression of himself in the holy silence in which this sound begins. The path through the deeds and sufferings of the Word begin with this first sound and sign of the alphabet: In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos took up the path to God, which manifests itself to man on earth as "God within", as entelechy, which brings about release - God from God: And one God was the Word. And the Word became flesh and came to live in us.
The prologue of the Gospel of John reveals this path of the Logos in the world: to the incarnation in Jesus of Nazareth and to the resurrection of the native Son of God in the consecrated human being whom God Sees.
The prologue, which is beautifully composed of twelve sentences which correspond to the signs of the Zodiac, seven parts which correlate with the planets, four steps of the spiritual drama???, and an epistle-like transition to the real Gospel form the entrance to earthly initiation, whose culmination is depicted in the book of John. The first sign of the primordial alphabet symbolizes this entrance, this Introitus.
A. Entrance: Prologue (1:1-14) and "epistle" (1:15-18) - the path of the Logos in the world, the Source, the earthly consecration.
The second symbol:
Sound: as word and syllable sound???? b, otherwise bh=v
Name: beth = house, the inner
Image: tent-like house, with a downward stroke
The spiritual essence of man moves into the protective inner space of the soul-being and there builds itself a bodily sheath as its earthly home. In the secrets of its body, man can still view the evolution of the formative creative being in himself - separated from his origin - and still be protectively surrounded in this sheath by the gods. Still, the walls of this physical home grow ever denser for the human being. Within them, his awareness of the spiritual world which surrounds him dies away, and the awakening inner consciousness leads him toward the increasingly constricting abyss of death. Only earthly consciousness remains. The physical house of man becomes his grave. From this experience, man begins to build. But before he builds the house which surrounds and protects him, he erects the temple as the house of the gods. First he builds a temple over the grave. The original image over his altar is a burial shrine. And then man seeks to conquer the separation which is growing ever stronger. He seeks to secure a connection to the world of the gods. Still the gods withdraw, and leave man alone in the isolation of his house, in his separation from the divine world. The gods release him.
On the other hand, through incarnation, man becomes capable of earthly destiny, as well as susceptible to its encounters. People meet 'in the flesh', 'though the flesh'. They unite themselves 'in the flesh', so that new people can become incarnate 'in the flesh'. Man in the flesh steps forward toward the active encounter with the nature which surrounds him. Along this path, he constructs thought. Nonetheless, through his incarnation, he experiences the world as a mutilated world: in the twilight of the Divine world, his own being is ripped asunder into an inner and an outer world, which he can no longer unite. His godless action bring upon him bodily and spiritual guilt. At the same time, from the right and left side of his house, enemy powers peek in. He falls to their temptations, and succumbs to their jurisdiction. His action leads to inevitable tragedy, which he is not in a position to undo on his own. He stands before a choice: to gather into himself a disappearing portion of the lost divinity through the death of the accursed body, but thereby to extinguish the awakening thought and awareness of the 'I', or courageously and godlessly to live out his life as an 'I' and fall ever deeper into guilt. The subtle and the indurate power of the adversary affects him inwardly.
Now the Word itself is made flesh. Through this embodiment it becomes obvious that the body is sanctified to become the temple of the spirit. The Christ comes to inhabit the body of Jesus of Nazareth to encounter people who are separated from God. In this encounter, John the Baptist finds the fulfillment of his earthly life. In this encounter, one of the mysteries of mankind is illuminated: Adam stands incarnate as John, who is sent out from the divine world with full authority and who stands face to face with his own original archetype, the 'second Adam', the 'divine man', incarnate first and foremost as Jesus von Nazareth. In this encounter, John had Seen the indwelling of the Christ on the Jordan River. And Christ's first apostles find the path to birth in the Spirit - to the the new community of man living in the Spirit - in their recognition of this encounter with the Word made flesh. A new temple is built. It is the house built by the Spirit. In the times before the incarnation of the Logos, the Christ, man could only unite himself with the waning divinity through ecstasy, through leaving himself. With the incarnation, a great transformation is effected: In full consciousness, the struggling, practicing human being encounters the Spirit, through the powers of his own consciousness. Now the initiation of the embodiment occurs. The communion of the separated one with himself begins through the flesh. It does not occur through death, but through sacrificial devotion.
In Hebrew, besides the word bêth 'house' itself, you find characteristic words like the preposition b*- 'in'. One also finds the word "ba´sar" for "flesh", and the related bi´s´sêr - a joyful announcement, and b*´sura - the Gospel. The b is also associated with the Virgin symbolizing a protective covering. The light ´s (see above for the description) suggests the transient and perishable, which awaits clarification in the resurrection. In the r-sound, that which is primary rises into free space. In all this, one can recognize a deep connection: The power of the resurrection will manifest in the transient material of embodiment. The Heavens will open over the darkening cosmos of the flesh (J, 1:51). The body is the temple of the Spirit, and the Word has become flesh in order to build it anew.
Beth-LeHem - 'house of bread' - is the birthplace of the bearer of the Christ. Beth-`Anija - 'place of lowliness, impoverishment, humiliation, the 'lowest point''; Beth-`Araba - 'location of the desert ("Arabs"!), loneliness, isolation of the soul'; Beth-`Abara - 'location of transition (a ford), the crossing of a threshold ("Hebrews"!)': this is the secret triple appellation of the location of the baptisms on the Jordan River (J 1:28) according to three different documents: the location - the 'house' - of the construction of the world. Here the Christ took up residence in the body of the divine man incarnate in Jesus. The image of the house - the second letter of the alphabet - comes through in all three names for the location of the baptism as the Gospel of him who has come as the bread of life in order to become the true life of abundant fullness in us. In the same symbol lives the image of him who will lead us through the low point of our evolution, over the threshold of the total isolation in ourselves. In this "Beth", the new temple is erected, the Beth´El (house of God). This house becomes the location of the consecration of our destiny, the temple of a new humanity, which has gone through total impoverishment to the final emptiness of Godless isolation, in order to now be able to cross the threshold to his true Home in Christ. "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you; the hope of glory" (Col, 1:27). Only in Christianity does the divinity of man truly live, when it is seen in its true depth. The Christian is the true "Beth-Él" (temple of God), the holy tent of God abiding in us which wanders with us, because it is in us. This abiding includes the experience of free spirit, which apprehendingly fashions itself. It is the embodiment of Christ in us, in the virginal human soul.
In the "Beth" chapter of the Gospel of John (1:19-51) we find seven steps: the works of John, the appearance of the Christ in Jesus, the meeting between Christ and his first five disciples and their meeting with one another. At first we see only through the eyes of the Baptist how the Christ has completed his entrance into the world (1:29), and we see simultaneously through the 'humanity in us', which John has incarnated and for which he stands as certifiable proof (1:7). Only then do we see for ourselves the One who has come to break down the separation between the material and spiritual worlds. And we see how he lays the cornerstone of a new earthly house in the form of five people, the cornerstone of a new temple of humanity over whom the the Heavens will open (1:35-51). The earthly house shall become the cosmic house.
B. Gospel: epiphany. The Encounter: of the Baptist with Jesus, of Jesus with the first disciples, of the disciples with one another (1:19-51).
The third symbol:
Sound: g (gh)
Name: gîmel = camel
Image: similar to a camel hump
What does the camel represent that it appears in the primordial alphabet? In what way can we comprehend its essence as a sign which clearly expresses an aspect of the Spiritual realm? The name of Zarathustra - in Greek Zoroástres: 'golden star' (compare the words of Balaam (Num 24:16), the golden star will rise from Judah) - probably meant 'golden camel' in ancient Persia. The camel was considered the most holy animal of the sun god Ahuramazda. The camel was able to cross the desert and to carry the necessary means of life in his hump. For all of mankind, the Israeli people went through what the camel also does: It walks the path of destiny of earthly life like a journey through the desert, cut off and distanced from the powers of nature which surround it, and which flow in our blood and affect us instinctively with their dark powers. One must walk utterly uncomforted along the road of initiation through the desert, through the isolation of the soul, in order to come to a new awareness within oneself. Only in this way does a new consciousness arise in the thinking 'I'. In this way and only in this way can man become free. Only in the consciousness of a thinking 'I', which has developed through the wandering in the desert, can man become sire over the powers of nature in him and around him. Though this wandering in the desert, the Israeli people discover the mystery of death and the victory over it, and they carry the golden treasure within them through the desert. This treasure lives in the wisdom of the "Torah" of the "I-God" Yahweh. This golden treasure is the Gazda, about which Zarathustra says that gods and demons encircle it. The ancient Persian word 'Gazda' begins with the g-sound, which indicates that something must force its way through under a difficult circumstances. It is directly related to the Gothic word 'Huzd' from which the German word 'Hort', English 'treasure', has developed. (In this context, see also the tenth letter Yod). In Hebrew, gèbèr is the fighter-hero, who endures a difficult battle; Gabri-èl means "My fighter is God".
So this symbol of the camel means that the person who prepares himself by walking through the desert of the isolation of the soul and loss of life, and through conscious renunciation and sacrifice, but who also preserves his innermost human nobility in the godless suffering of fate will ripen through this earthly suffering toward meaning, toward the center of meaning. He helps to make radiant, to transfigure, and to christen the earth. "g" overcomes difficulty and preserves what is within. 'G' belongs to the symbol of protection, of the Centaur, who releases the stream of Grace through the wound of death. It is the sound in the middle of the Greek word for 'I': EGÔ, and the Latin word, which sounds the same, but is only stressed differently: ÊGO. It is the sound of Golgotha, which the hill-shaped letter Gimel represents the Golgotha where the 'I am' is crucified, and which according to old tradition conceals the skull of Adam. The higher 'I' overcomes the horror of guilt and death, which the lower 'I' must go through and bear to bring higher life to heal mankind.
The great separation between the world of God and of Man is transcended. The wedding - gámos - is prepared; the empty mugs fill with water, which become wine through His influence; the stone temple is purified so that it can be dismantled, ploughed up and built anew. The spiritual temple of the world is constructed in the body of the resurrected Christ. This is the origin of the spiritual symbol (2:11) 'on the third day', that is, on the day of 'Gimel, the day of the third sign. This occurs through the prevailing control of the will, and the stamina which preserves the soul. It begins to sacrifice the Christ to the world, by developing its essence in word and deed.
The origin of the letter Gimel - g-m-l - basically means maturation or self-perfection, which concerns both the meaning of the symbol of the alphabet as well as the origin of the spiritual symbol through the actions of Christ.
C. Offertory (2:1-10, 21): The revelation of Christ in
word and deed:
1. 2:1-22: The renewal of blood and body as the origin of the symbol of the Spirit
The fourth symbol:
Sound: d (dh)
Name: dâleth = door, gate, entrance
Image: triangle representing an entrance
Like breaking through a door, the 'd' sound also symbolizes the 'gates of initiation', which will soon be passed through. The Hebrew words for 'word' - dâbâr (dâbhâr) - and for 'most holy' - d*bîr (d*bhîr) - come from the same root, d-b-r. Here a gate (d) is passed through, that leads inside (b) the temple, the world, the soul, where the encounter with the elevated leader (r, Resh) takes place. The path into the mystery of the word leads through the door of consecration. The essence of the word is most holy. D is associated with the sign of Leo, which is guarding the entrance, as he does in many fairy tales at the gates of the enchanted castle. A person must pass by him in the correct disposition of the heart. The path of recognition passes through this gate, in which the Word itself leads man as inner guide, providing he exhibits the courage to pass through the gates of his mind into the depths of his own soul. "Path of recognition" is dèrèkh had-dá`ath (d-d!) in Hebrew.
The fourth sign - dâleth is the door of recognition in front of which man must become conscious of himself, before he passes through to 'see the Kingdom of God'. The chapter about Nicodemus (3:1-21) is introduced by a short paragraph, in which the apostle speaks about it thus: that "Jesus did not commit himself to them, because he knew all men, and needed not that anyone should testify of man, for he knew what was in man" (2:23-25). The gate dâleth passes through a death-and-becoming as fulfillment of the wandering in the desert. It is the entrance into the Kingdom out of the power of the spiritual Word, which dies and is reborn. Israel's nature-denying path through the desert has as its goal entry into the Promised Land. Christ Himself is the dâleth, the Gate, the Door, through which the seeker of knowledge enters and exits and transforms nature.
The Dâleth-Gate is birth in the world, as well as transition to rebirth, which leads to the Kingdom, to the rebirth from the creative power of Life and the Spirit-breath of becoming. The conversation between Christ and Nicodemus concerns the serpent raised on the cross, in which his sacrificial departure is symbolized. Bronze (brass) is an alloy of tin and copper: the wisdom of Jupiter, and Venus' power of love affect the world in the sacrificial acts of Christ - the Son of Man. Along the twisted column, along the cross of the spinal column to the brain, which is now freed from the organs, is highest awareness now mixed with highest love, from which "God gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever turned inward his heart's power of Seeing, his mouth's power of Speech and his eye's power of Vision should not perish, but have everlasting life." (3:14-16). Whoever does not walk through this Dâleth-Gate, remains in darkness.
C. Offertory (2:1-10, 21): The revelation of Christ in
word and deed:
2. 2:23-3:21: The conversation with Nicodemus - the secret of death and becoming
It is striking how the first four letters of the primordial alphabet all suggest triangles. The first letter - ´aleph - can be viewed as though the triangle were formed by lines which came from far outside in all directions. It is as if the creative powers of the cosmos united, in order in their intersection to construct the essence in which they are actual in their image and likeness: the human being of the oldest times, who still lives and moves like an embryo in the worlds of the gods, satiated by the atmosphere which surrounds them.
The second letter - Beth - is a triangle that already floats free, which, however, points down, imprisoned and rooted by by a line in its lower corner which struggles downward: The human being of the Indian cultural epoch begins to move across the earth and to become rooted. He has not yet 'landed'. He still floats. The third letter - Gimel - is a triangle, whose underside is missing, and whose other two sides can be viewed as walking legs: In the height of the Persian culture, man learns to walk over the earth, in order to succeed in the work that he does on the land and to gain wealth by it. Agriculture is the first culture, the first religion. Only the fourth letter - Daleth - is a pure triangle, the completed image of the inwardness of the soul, which is also the image of the gate. Egypt is interwoven with the experience of inwardness in its polarization to outwardness. This is represented by the gate between inside and out, which is the entrance to the grave of the material realm and the wealth of the spirit.
The three sounds which are represented by these symbols - BGD - belong together by nature: They are the three voiced stopped consonants of the lips, the velum and the teeth - labial, guttural, dental - which also form a triangle:
In a certain way, the first letter, Aleph, stands phonetically on its own. It serves as a real beginning to this group of three sounds which so very much belong together. It stands opposite a new beginning at the middle of the sequence of consonants, the sound group LMN, which phonetically forms a polar contrast to the BGD group. These three 'flowing' sounds at the tongue (L), the lips (M), and the teeth (N) also form a triangle - continuant sounds opposed to stopped sounds:
(see Note II)
The group of sounds BGD forms the root B-G-D in Hebrew whose basic meaning concerns covering, clothing, dressing. So bègèd means a garment and also the covering over holy implements, the altar covering. And so a meaningful word follows the initial Logos symbol ´Aleph at the beginning of the alphabet. The fact that this root has come to imply a 'hidden or mischievous action' or 'disloyalty', is a riddle which can perhaps only be explained thus: 'Hidden' or 'occult actions' are also in a certain way carried out by the Mystery Religions. The worldly aspect of Israel viewed such occult actions as 'secret treacherous actions', especially as practiced by the surrounding peoples of Canaan, who had grown decadent.
Nicodemus comes 'by night' to Jesus (3:2); he is a secret pupil (19:38). In this way, the whole conversation with Nicodemus through the gate of initiation proceeds to the secrets of the Most Holy. Whoever was designated as 'initiate' (árchon) of the Jews, as a 'teacher of Israel' (didásklos toû Israél = maskîl Yi´srael) undergoes an esoteric instruction, which he must become deeply engaged in until the time is ripe to experience the Mystery of the Resurrection directly (19:38). Having experienced this, he may carry out the the alchemical action of embalming Jesus' corpse together with Joseph of Arimatheah, through which the pure corporeal form of the resurrected body can rise again. This is Nicodemus' 'hidden action' at dusk, based in secret knowledge - the secret of B-G-D.
The fifth symbol:
Name: hê = opening for air, window
Image: represents a window with three cross bars
The triangle of the first four letters is now overcome. Something completely new now steps before us, and yet it too conceals within it the secret of the Trinity: three horizontal lines go simultaneously from East to West, out of a vertical pole that stands upright from the earth and holds them. In the Greek era, mankind learns to develop his three powers of the soul harmoniously, to master them through his 'I', which begins to stand upright in the earth. The Greek charioteer is like this letter Hê - a human being who takes hold of the spirit in him and guides his spiritual powers.
The H is the breath of the movement of the spirit. The window is opened to him who has walked through the gate. He's now able to look into the world and to teach those who have been caught by the spirit to see. The movement of the spirit tells of a birth, of the existence of the new person, in the face of whom the old person must and can withdraw. And so John the Baptist and Jesus in whom Christ has taken up residence stand face to face: Adam recognizes his original form; the old person points to the new: He must increase, and I must decrease (3:28). (translator's note: 3:30)
One senses a preview of this diminishment of the old and growth of the new, when in the Old Testament (Gen 17), the primordial parents of Israel, Abram - the father of the high - and Sarai - the star of Sirius, are required to add a Hê, the H-sound, to their names at this significant point in their lives, so that from that point on, they are called Abra-h-am "the father of many nations" - and Sara-h - "mother of nations". The H-sound belongs to Gemini, the twin, who speaks from the stars: The eternal, heavenly human being, the original form of the earthly human being comes to earth to release his brother who has fallen into guilt and grown stiff with death. He does this by means of his own death, so that this brother can again find access to the life-giving spirit, that life on earth may be imbued with life in the movement of the Spirit.
C. Offertory (2:1-10, 21): The revelation of Christ in
word and deed:
3. 3:22-36: The old and new person. John and Christ. I and that
The sixth symbol:
Sound: old Semitic like w, modern Hebrew like v
Name: wâw (uâu) = nail, hook, bolt
Image: nail with a head
This flowing 'u' sound - the bilabial w - can be experienced as a swaying wave of devotion, from which the empowerment of and rootedness in the 'I' can arise. The nail fastens and solidifies. It's like a staff, which gives one stamina. The person who experiences the swaying of the spirit is in need of such solidification, the stamina of the nail. This dark waving sound has qualities in the Semitic languages of both the reverent, exalted U as well as of the loving and embracing O. It can be likened to a hidden underground stream, a reverent and loving wave, which is grounded in itself, but which also seeks to align itself with an essential core within and with a universal core in all things. The nail which locks the door serves as a bolt. In a related form, it can also serve as a key with which one can lock and unlock. The 'power of the key' is the power of the 'I' which is grounded in itself. It is the authority to lock oneself in where necessary, as well as to open oneself to understanding and to resolve oneself to one's Will, which brings about one's own free understanding. The power of the key is also the authority to bind or release destiny. Wherever the power of the key or the inner stamina has not been attained, the soul dissolves into the Spirit like water which flows out and becomes ordinary and common to all. However, where it has been attained, the human soul is transformed from a fallen prostitute into a priestess: The Samaritan woman, who has bound herself to the spirit in the wrong manner (you've had five men, and he whom you have now is not your husband - Wâw is the sixth sign in the original alphabet), and has thereby become an adulteress, becomes capable of leading men to Christ after the true Spirit in her shines to reveal the 'I Am'. Through her and now over her and her words, these men now find the path to their own recognition of the One who will heal the world. The power of the 'I' which is grounded in itself does not live itself. Rather it is informed though its orientation toward the true Healer-'I' of the world, to the "Sotér", which releases it to the free understanding, which moves in accordance with this Wave.
The letter Wâw (nail) takes the form of a nail with a head representing something like a standing pole with a cap that's directed upward, like the image of the 'I' which is opened upward and becomes the raised Grail.
The flowing 'U' sound, like the similar 'V' sound, belongs to the sign of the Ram. Both of these in turn resemble the Greek Upsilon which is derived from them. Upsilon was originally pronounced like 'U', and it only became lighter in the 6th and 5th centuries B.C. in Ionian and Attic Greek, that is, in precisely those dialects for which philosophy borne by the power of thought began to flourish. The sign of the Ram also belongs to the forehead. The horns of the Ram suggest the radiating power of human thought in its living light - its transformation and development through the ancient power of the Ram with its expiring clarity of vision. By means of thought, man can lift himself to the stars, from which he originates. In thought, the image of the nail (Wâw) points out of the sphere of the Phoenician Grail mystery to the realm of the Celtic/Germanic occult traditions. The Irminsul, literally the pillar (sul) which bears the cosmos (Irmin), has become a symbol with spiritual significance, consisting of a shaft with ends that project outward like bent gabel-shaped ram's horns. On one Celtic image, the 'nail of the world' is aligned so that its tip points into the fork of the Irminsul. One can see in many ways how this juxtaposition was a true reflection of the way in which powers flow out from the region of the heavenly pole, or the polar star, into the forehead, while at the same time man seeks to ground himself in the earth.
This forms an image of the axis of the world around which the universe and human nature revolve. Very frequently in illustrations, one sees the sign of a star in the fork of the Irminsul. The Pythagoreans wore the symbol of a Pentagon, in whose upper corner a 'Y' was drawn.
Then the sun appeared in the fork of the Irminsul: the spirit of the sun let itself be elevated to the cross, which was often portrayed as a forked cross in Germanic Christendom.
Under the sign of the Ram stands Raphael, meaning 'God is the healer', and affects the course of events. Correspondingly, in the relevant chapter of John, it is described how the the Samaritans recognize the 'Sotér', that is, 'the healer' in Christ. Under the Ram, we also find the meaning of understanding the Word. In the comprehension of the Word in words and in language, thought finds a path to Resurrection in the Life. The Word becomes resurrected thought.
C. Offertory (2:1-10, 21): The revelation of Christ in
word and deed:
4. 4:1-42: grounding in the 'I' - Conversation with the Samaritan woman.
The seventh symbol:
Name: zájin = the hilt of a sword, weapon
Image: the hilt of a sword (without a blade)
The weak voiced 'z' ssound is an element subdued by the voice, forced into the service of healing against the volatile powers of Lucifer. The sword has been grasped in the spiritual battle with those powers, which threaten to tear away the awakening soul and the spirituality it has already attained and grounded in the 'I', and embroil it in a feverish flight into worldly pleasures. In this symbol of the sword, we can see the image of Christ, who points the sword at Lucifer with a raised hand in order to wrest mankind from him. However, this is not the sword of hate, but the helping, healing power of love, which resounds through this soft 'z' sound. Within it we hear the voice of the Son of God and the Son of Man saying, "Your Son lives."
C. Offertory (2:1-10, 21): The revelation of Christ in
word and deed:
5. 4:43-54: healing of the fever.
The eighth symbol:
Sound: H, a sharp, emphatic H sound, in modern Hebrew like German
Name: Hêth = fence, protective surrounding
Image: two stakes with three cross bars
This letter, which sounds like a hissing snake is unique to the Semitic languages. It can be experienced as a devilish sound which seeks to be transformed into a power of spiritual discrimination and recognition, that it may serve as a healing force against the hardening powers of Ahriman. The person who has become lame will be returned to himself and released.He will be surrounded as if by a fence. Protected in this way, he can raise himself to the freedom of his essential self.
In Phoenician-Hebraic, the words for life (Hajjim), living (Haj), the name 'Eve' (Hawwâ = "she who bears life"), in Carthaginian, the greeting "live!": Hawwè, from which 'Ave' is derived, as well as Hebrew snake (Hewwijôth), sin (Hattá'th), and consecration (Hanukkâ) all begin with this 'sound of the serpent'. Here we see a wisdom reflected, in that the individual in his limited, separated, contained existence is released through the purified serpent into the secret of the liberated life. This fencing off - the separation of the individual - is the work of Lucifer who removes man from the heavenly realm. Yet the healing of Christ fits the reign of Lucifer into the general development of man, so that it is transformed from a 'theft' into a 'service' in the interest of his freedom and liberation. The physical illnesses, which have arisen through the sin of separation in man are healed through the Christ, who releases the sins of the world. The lameness is healed. For 38 years the man had lain benumbed in hopeless anticipation of coming into contact with the healing powers of the holy waters. Yet he had to remain imprisoned in himself, and now he carries his bed away to freedom. For 38 years, the entire Israeli people were consecrated in the desert in the teachings of God, which are now understood to be 'law' - constrained and constricting tradition, the booty of Ahriman.
The Pharisees as the representatives of the constriction of Ahriman take offense at the fact that the Christ heals the lame on the Sabbath and thereby violates a law. They interpret his healing on the Sabbath as evil. According to an apocryphal saying, Christ says to someone whom he sees working on the Sabbath: If you are aware of what you do, then you are blessed, that is, then you stand under the starlight of a freedom which is grounded in yourself. However, if you are unaware of what you do, then you are cursed, and a violator of the Law (Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis (D) to Luke 6:4 - s. NTGr.Var.App.)
Man becomes free in the essence of his 'I' only as one who struggles for understanding. He must recognize in freedom what he is doing. Then he finds himself within himself within the 'protective surrounding' of his essence. The lame man who lay in shackles for 38 years stands up and carries his bed: He becomes the determiner of his own destiny.
Behind this symbol of the fence, the barrier, we can see the image of Christ - how he stretches his hand downward to raise this lame, fallen human being out of the limitations of Ahriman into a new life enclosed by his own essence. The healing occurs during Succoth, where the person who prays surrounds himself by a booth of foliage, and surrounds himself at the same time in order to meditate upon the Works of God. Will he find the courage to recognize himself, or will he only get in his own way? The Christ asks the lame, fallen human being: "Do you want to be well?"
If he becomes aware that the fence represents an insurmountable barrier to the higher worlds, then it becomes transformed into the enclosure of 'us in Christ'. It is christened, and becomes the passage out of death into a new life. Those who are in their graves (enclosed) will hear the Voice of the Son of Man and will go forth (5:25ff). That is, they will be led out and consecrated in a new life.
C. Offertory (2: 1-10, 21): The revelation of Christ in
word and deed:
6. 5:1-47: healing of the lame.
The ninth symbol:
Sound: T, a sharp, emphatic T-sound pronounced at the back of
the lower incisors
Name: Têth - container (for bread, the crust; for wine, the goblet)
Image: crust, goblet, winding tube, but also a sun-cross
The name Têth contains the root T-J meaning "fill". The symbol looks like a container, which one can think of as a crust of bread or a wafer or as a wineskin. Alternatively, if you look at certain secondary forms of the symbol, they resemble a container that opens upward, almost like a goblet. An ancient symbol is concealed in this strangely ambiguous image of a cross enclosed in a circle. It is the symbol of mankind as the victorious sun, and of the raised Host. If you look carefully at the Greek reliefs of the sun God who travels through the Heavens you can see this symbol also in the wheel of his chariot. In many pictures, the same symbol floats like a cross-shaped halo above the head of the Resurrected One.
So this image alludes to the central mystery of the bread and wine in the sacrament. It was even administered in prechristian religions as a harbinger of the coming Christ - the awaited sun-spirit, who would overcome death through resurrection. Melchisedek, the priest of the most high God, Él `Eljôn, transforms bread and wine. Él `Eljôn means 'on the steps of the struggle for awareness of God' (Gen 14:18). The person who struggles for freedom will be satisfied and filled with the Spirit. He himself becomes a container for the Spirit, which shares Itself with him in the substance of the bread and wine. He is filled by the food, the sustenance of the Coming One. He himself is transformed to the Coming One. He himself becomes a Beginning, so that the Spirit which fills and empowers him can effect a transformation of the world.
In the early Christian times, the Teth symbol of the circle with the cross very frequently appears together with the healing symbol of the fish in inscriptions, paintings and diagrams.
I AM the bread of life. It is night time when Christ breaks the bread for those who come to him. In those times, the secret of the coming era was considered to lie in the number 5000. These were the souls of the Coming Ones, whom he feeds in that night of the yet unborn. The symbol respresents a midnight sun, something which the ancient mysteries sought after. And here it appears as the symbol of that which will become manifest in our era. It will be seen how the sunlight of the Christ illuminates, transforms and releases dark earthly matter, the power of night. The T-sound belongs to Leo, which on the one hand is associated with the sun, and on the other hand with the heart of man. It is the sun-like power of the heart and spiritual courage to see, which will call us to awakening in this age of apparently overwhelming negative forces.
The so-called "Israeli affirmation of faith", the "Shma Israel" (Hear O Israel), is written in tiny letters on scrolls of parchment and affixed in bronze capsules to the door posts of Jewish homes as a reminder (Deut. 6:4). It contains a peculiar word, which was no longer understood in Judaism: Tôtâphôth, which twice contains Teth. Luther translated it with "... a reminder (in front of your eyes)". In the later Jewish tradition, it is also viewed as external, and this view led to the institution of phylacteries and the like. However, this word Tôtâphôth refers to the eye of the soul "between the eyes" (not in front of them), which one develops along the path of instruction in the Law of Jahwe, and which enables a higher apprehension through spiritual perception. It is the two-leafed lotus flower described in all the esoteric traditions. Before the gaze of the third eye together with the visionary power of the heart and the renewed power of the Word, the living world of the future arises, clarified by the power of the sun in Christ. It is like the raised Host - the body of Christ - and the raised goblet filled with the life of Christ. It is like the word of the sun, which governs the world and creates it anew. So Teth is also the symbol of the earth which is fulfilled though the Christ-I (the symbol of the cross). Teth - the cross - symbolizes the earth as the spiritual center of the universe.
The "Israeli affirmation of faith" (Shma Israel), which speaks of the development of higher awareness runs like this in modern language:
(1) Hear O Israel, the I AM is our God, the I AM is One.
(2) And you will love the I AM, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.
(3) And these words, through which I show you today the purpose of your sojourn on earth, they will display their effects over your heart.
(4) And you will impress them on the consciousness of your children, and they will reveal themselves through your speech: when you cultivate inner peace in your home, and when you describe the (spiritual) path, and when you ground yourself in yourself, and when you elevate yourself to yourself.
(5) And you will impress them in your hands as the seals of the heavenly power of benediction, and you will develop them between your eyes as the soul's sense of sight, which is the consciousness of the earth.
(6) And you will inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
The last line refers to the healing of the senses. These six sentences, which have become empty, petrified tradition, remind one of the six empty stone jugs at the wedding in Cana, in which Jesus transformed water into wine...
C. Offertory (2:1-10, 21): The revelation of Christ in
word and deed:
7. 6:1-71: the bread of the coming one.
The tenth symbol:
Name: yôd = (raised) hand
Image: a raised hand, as if victorious, indicated by few lines
Fulfilled and strengthened by the substance of spirit, the bread of the Coming One, the human being can now raise his hand to the benedictory effects of the spirit, which allow light to stream forth from the center, bestowing the power of the I, changing judgements over the world toward a renewal of its ways. It sets starting points, new beginnings based in the Self. This streaming outward of light from the person who is fulfilled in the Self can also be experienced in the sound of y. The y is the i which has begun to flow, light from light, flowing light.
In this image we can recognize the raised hand of the Christ, the I AM, which will heal and set things aright. It denotes the separation between above and below: "You are from below; however I am from above". The hands which have been raised against him, however, cannot embrace him (8:59). Those who raise their hands against him cannot comprehend or apprehend this secret. This 'I', however raises the fallen soul of man into the power of his own free self, that he can walk there erect and balanced, no more separated from the world of light (7:53-8:11 the adulteress): The I AM, the light of the world, drops vertically into the hidden, buried treasure within it, the (Persian) Gazda (see Gimel). Significantly, the text speaks to this inner correlation (8:20): "These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple..." - The word used for 'treasury' in the original text, "gazophylákion", is a mixture of Persian and Greek: gazo- is the Persian Gazda, the treasure of his true nature hidden in the human soul. Angrimainyus, the anti-god of darkness, the arch-liar and arch-defiler, the opponent of Ahuramazda, can bury this treasure in the human soul under stones, and can bring about its decay. The Pharisees want to stone the adulteress, the human soul which has been newly caught in the act of the deepest depths of earthliness, of godless, guilty degradation. The second I AM word which emerges from the light of the world, is spoken from out of the heart of the Persian cultural age. It speaks of a battle between light and darkness, the earthly destiny of man, which he can and must act out and create and carry himself with the help of the illuminating power of Christ. The light of the I AM allows the innermost treasure in the human soul to shine again through all the guilt in the world as the light of I AM. This is the act which initiates the new beginning, the raised hand of the Christ.
In the old Semitic name for God, Yahwè, the letter y serves as the beginning. This sound is like the outward flowing, outward streaming light of God. It is followed by the short a, the clean, clearly articulated h-sound and the w-sound, which is like a flowing u sound, like streaming light, which is grounded in itself. In the final short open è, the godhead is held in thought, in consciousness. Within the broad shining power of Christ (y), the breath of the undulating spirit (h) and the condensed, dark, flowing force of the 'I' in the depths of the will form the Holy Name, in which a short 'a' springs forward to a short, stress-bearing 'e'.
The Holy Name Jahwè appears in three other forms: as Jâh (with clearly articulated h!), for example, in Hàll*lû-jâh (-ll- is really geminate: * is an indistinct vowel like in French 'le'; û is long; jâh(hh) with long h!); then as Jâhu or Jâhô, the latter of which the Greeks transcribed as iao; and finally in abbreviated form j*hô- as a constituent in names like J*hôshúa` or Jêshuúa` = Jesus, Josua; J*hôhanán = Johannes; and also Éli-Jâhû, Éli-Jâh = Elias, Jirmi-Jâhû = Jeremias, J*sha`- Jâhû = Jesaja.
The chapter of the Gospel of John which falls under the letter y is long and diverse. In four steps, a religious drama takes place. In the light festival of Succoth one builds a common structure, to which the Christ goes having turned aside the longing of the brothers for publicity ("not in public, but in secret - non manifeste, sed quasi in occulto"). At the climax he suddenly releases all its light. This puts his listeners in deepest doubt, and on the following night, he remains in the temple, in order to demonstrate early the next morning that the darkness of the world can only be made light when the transformation in the human soul is complete. The fallen soul of man will be placed at the foundation of this new freedom. In three great steps, the Christ as the light of the I opens up the path of communion and awareness - light - I - judgement (Fr. Rittelmeyer): If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (8:31-32). The raised hand of light separates above from below. The self-righteous darkness rears up against truth (which is mentioned seven times).
C. Offertory (2:1-10, 21): The revelation of Christ in
word and deed:
8. 7:1-8,59: the light of the world (light-I-judgement).
The eleventh symbol:
Sound: in word and syllable k, otherwise kh (very strong German
Name: kaph = (grasping, open) hand (palm)
Image: a hand with separated fingers
The illuminating and blessing force of the hand is now empowered to manipulate the world of things. This enables man to make the spiritual sign. He begins to rule with a welcoming-embracing extended hand as the kingly high priest. The creative, spiritually informed manipulation of things in the world, however, also opens the eye, which learns to see and recognize these things in their true spiritual essence. This essence is hidden deep in outward appearances. The outer and inner eye of the one who is filled with the light of the Self perceives the self-revealing light of the world.
The priestly king, who practices "white magic"speaks through this light h-sound (compare the 19th letter qoph). He has the power to untie the blindfold. The person whose vision has been healed can say with authority, "I AM" (9:9). This mysterious formula, which otherwise only emerges from the mouth of Christ, is spoken by the modern person who has awakened to the I, who once sat like a blind beggar by the side of the road, and who now sees. In the nadir of his development, the modern blind man speaks as Socrates: I know one thing, that I know nothing (Greek: hèn oîda, hóti oudèn oîda) - the acknowledgement from which one must begin. And after his eyes have been opened through the outstretched hand of the Christ, the blind man now says: I was blind, and now I see (hèn oîda, hóti typhlòs òn árti blépo). This word (9:25) rings like a fulfillment of the Socratic sentence. Only in the christening of the eyes can the modern agnostic nihilism be overcome and transformed. Also the "modern man" is not alone. The 'I' of the blind man has taken the uniting power of the Christ up into itself. It "sees" in spiritual community with the entire world, how this is expressed in the mysterious message of an apocryphal words of Christ (Oxyrhynchos-Papyri): "Wherever there are two, they are not without God (átheoi); and wherever there is one, I AM with him. Awaken the stone, and you will find me there; split the wood, and there I am."
The man who is born blind is thrown out of traditional society. This must signify to him the death of the outlaw! But in the Christ, he recognizes with new sight the Lord, the Son of God and Son of Man, the bearer of free spirits. Through and only through contact with the world, does our outstretched hand find the Christ. In the "Ding an sich" "Thing of itself" we find Him, and in Him, we find the world and ourselves.
This tells us in another way what is expressed in the healing of the blind: The Christ extends His hand; He touches the clay of the earth; He mixes it with His spittle. With this mixture He then anoints the blind man's eyes. The spittle carries the element of communion with the spirit, and the Christ in this act unites it with the earth, which has become the altar of this consecration. The Greek text uses the word ep-échrisen for 'anointed', which comes from the same root as the name of the Christ, the anointed one. So He christened the eyes of the blind! And then he sends him to the pool of Siloam, that he might wash himself there. Only there do his eyes open. And the text explicitly states: Siloam (Shîlóah) is "interpreted" as "one who has been sent". In the prologue, John is so designated (1:6) and again in (3:28) in his encounter with Christ Jesus. This is furthermore a secret reference to the first person on earth (Adam), who has been reincarnated in John. In addition, according to ancient Hebrew traditions, the pool of Siloam is associated with the grave of Adam on the hill of Golgotha. At the same time, in the consciousness of blind man, that which is directed outward opens itself first, and then, in the encounter with his healer, the inner light is awakened. In this healer, he recognizes the being of Christ, the Logos, who has devoted himself to apprehending the world as the Self. It is the Logos who speaks and acts, who was in the beginning, who has walked the path to God (pròs tòn theón), and whose works shall be made obvious. It is the I AM, the gate and the good shepherd.
C. Offertory (2:1-10, 21): The revelation of Christ in
word and deed
9. 9:1-10,21: the opening of the eye.