three ships

Three Ships on the River of Truth, Wisdom, and Eternity

“Jesus Dug a River Jesus dug a river in the cosmos. He dug a river, even he of the sweet name. He dug it with a spade of truth. He dredged it with a basket of wisdom. The stones he dredged from it are drops of incense from Lebanon. All the waters in it are roots of light. Three ships sail. They voyage in the river, testing. One is full, one half freighted. The third is empty. The full ship sails fearlessly. One half full. The empty one comes empty and leaves nothing behind. It will suffer at the customs. It has nothing to give, nothing on board. They will tear it apart wickedly and send it back to the port. The ship will suffer what corpses suffer. Empty. They called it and it heard nothing.” ~The Manichaean Songbook

Jesus Dug a River

It should be obvious that this song from the Manichaean Songbook is pure allegory. Allegory doesn’t mean it is a fairy tale. It means it is something real told in a cryptic way so it’s truth won’t be revealed to the unworthy or the uninitiated. Jesus didn’t literally dig a river through the cosmos. What he did is make a path of truth, spirit, and light through the darkness and ignorance of the material universe. It is a river in the sense that it is flowing, moving. It is living light carrying the truth of God into the places where it has long been forgotten. He digs the river with a basket of wisdom and a spade of truth. More allegorical symbols.

Jesus, of course, brings the truth and wisdom of God with him. The ace of spades is a symbol of ancient mysteries and the mystery schools. A shovel of any kind is a symbol of clearing one’s path for wisdom and enlightenment. It also symbolizes digging to uncover hidden truths. The basket symbolizes carrying spiritual wisdom and truth. It can also mean, according to some dream dictionaries, overcoming difficulties. Also, a full basket can symbolize joy. What could bring more joy than a basket full of wisdom?

Three Ships

Trilogies are so common in spiritual symbology, I don’t think they need to be explained hear with and detail. The best-known examples of a trilogy are Father, Son, and Holy Ghost of most Christians, and Father, Mother, and Child in others. It can also represent matter, thought, and spirit. In this case, the contents of the ships help us understand their symbolism.

A Full Ship

The full ship sails down the river fearlessly. It is true to its course and sails on to the end of the river without difficulty. This ship is full of truth, wisdom, and spiritual light. It may have difficulties, but it cannot fail. It is the best of the three ships to be on.

A Half-Full Ship

The half-full ship represents those who are halfheartedly involved in spiritual things. They go through the motions, but with little conviction. They are spiritual in public, materialistic in private. This ship will wander aimlessly, never knowing exactly where it is heading, never knowing exactly how to get there. As a result, it’s chance of reaching the goal of true enlightenment is probably worse than one in a million. This is probably the most frustrating of the three ships for those who sail them generally thing they are on their way to heaven when they are just going in circles.

An Empty Ship

To send an empty ship out into the river doesn’t make much sense. It is unlikely to reach the final destination. If it does, it won’t matter. The ship is empty. It has nothing to unload. It will be turned away and sent elsewhere.

Sadly, the empty ship probably represents the vast majority of people today. Those who have no religious or spiritual beliefs at all are definitely sailing empty ships down the river of truth. But so are the Christians who follow a man-made, materialistic version of Christianity rather than that which Jesus actually taught. Joining them in more empty ships will be those who practice some superficial form of spiritual development. That includes those who think that simply rejecting religion is all there is to being spiritual. Those who think spirituality is nothing more than meditation, followed by meditation, than even more meditation, which in real spiritual schools is just the first grade of many grades, will also be on such ships. And perhaps the emptiest ships of all are those who think they can wait until they are physically dead to concern themselves with the spirit and soul. That is too late and they are leaving ports in empty ships. A cargo ship with no cargo is the saddest of the three ships.

Jumping Ship

The good news is that this is something that can change. We can all start serious spiritual development with a real spiritual school—the inheritors of the ancient mystery schools—and fill our empty or half full ships. But when the city is on fire, you don’t want to leave your ship anchored in the port where it is likely to burn up. Yes, I’m using allegory, too.

In a spiritual sense, our world is on fire now, and we can’t just sit back and hope it misses us. We all have to get our ships full of truth and wisdom and sail that sacred river as quickly as possible. I look forward to a time when the river is covered with ships that are all full of truth and wisdom rather than the three ships.

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libraries

Libraries of Ancient Wisdom, Lost and Found

“In the containers, I have gathered together all the books given into my care, and I have done all the things I was instructed to do, and the work of my father is now complete. The metal will stand the test of age, and the cutting is the finest workmanship.

“The five great book boxes contain one hundred and thirty-two scrolls and five ring-bound volumes. There are sixty-two thousand, four hundred and eighty three words in The Greater Book of the Egyptians. …

“The Book of Magical Concoctions has six thousand, eight hundred and ten words, and this was the most difficult to remit, for it was a work of mystery and hidden things. …

“The Book Of Secret Lore and the Book of Decrees are joined into the Great Book of the Sons of Fire and they, too, are enabled to last forever.

“The metal is as our masters desired, made cunningly by the secret methods of our tribe, and it will never perish. The marks are cut in it so that when seen in the right light, they stand out clearly. …

“Read carefully the sacred words, which are written, and may they be a lodestone to a greater life.” ~The Kolbrin Bible (SOF:24:1-10)

The Library

The writer of this quote has identified himself as the one responsible for the preservation of a great library of ancient books. I didn’t list all the books he mentions by name as that is unnecessary and would make the quote too long.

The description indicates that this library consisted of many scrolls made of thin sheets of metal and five ring-bound books also made of metal. We don’t know what this metal is, but the writer says it is indestructible. Of course, we know in this day that noting is indestructible, but we can assume these books were made to last quite a long time. It addition, he tells us he stored the library in boxes also made of metal, probably thicker and stronger than the metal used to make the books themselves. He doesn’t tell us what was done with this library after he carefully sealed it in the great boxes, but it was probably hidden in a cave or buried. He does indicate that this was being done to provide information to people in the future, so it can reasonably be assumed this library was hidden away.

The Eqyptians

The creator of this library references several of the books as coming from the Egyptians. This tells us two things about the people who wrote the Kolbrin Bible or at least this section of it. One, they were not Egyptian. Two, they had great regard for the teachings of the ancient mystery schools of Egypt. They may have been people who once lived in Egypt, but had left that land for some reason. Continue reading “Libraries of Ancient Wisdom, Lost and Found”

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conquest of self

Conquest of Self Begins Spiritual Growth

“The Rosicrucian is patient. His first and most important victory is the conquest of his own self. It is the victory over the Lion, who has bitterly injured some of the best followers of the Holy Cross. … The true Rosicrucian tries to overcome his enemies by kindness, and those who hate him by gifts. He heaps not curses, but the burning fire of love upon them. …

“The Rosicrucian is kind. He never appears gloomy or melancholy, or with a scowl or sneer upon his face. He acts kindly and politely towards everybody, and is always ready to render assistance to others. … He has conquered the bear of vulgarity.

“The Rosicrucian knows no envy. Before he is accepted into the order he must go through the terrible ordeal of cutting off the head of the snake of envy, which is a very difficult labor, because the snake is sly, and easily hides itself in some corner. The true Rosicrucian is always content with his lot. … He never worries about the advantages or riches which which others possess, but wishes always the best for everybody. … He expects no favors, but hr distributes his favors without any partiality.” ~Franz Hartmann

The Rosicrucian

Mr. Hartmann’s book is specifically about the Rosicrucian order but applies just as well to any real spiritual school or community. He has explained in a section that I have quoted before that the real Rosicrucians he speaks of are from some time ago, and the current group by that name is not the same. But you can replace “Rosicrucian” in the quote with “Pythagorean,” “Essene,” or any of a dozen or more spiritual schools and it will all still apply. In fact, the students of real spiritual schools are not in competition with each other at all. Truth is truth, and while ceremonies and minor teachings may vary, the basic truths and awakening methods remain the same.

Conquest of Self

It is the first duty of the spiritual student to conquer himself (or herself). It isn’t always clear, however, exactly what that means.

Let’s start with what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean we have to rid ourselves of ego. Nor does it mean we have to rid ourselves of all sense of individuality. Some popular schools of today have simplified the teachings of the ancients schools and say that it does. That makes even less sense than saying that men have to be physically circumcised in order to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Mutilating the body in any way doesn’t help spiritual growth. Mutilating the mind doesn’t either. Destroying the ego, or the sense of self is destroying an important part of what we are.

What conquest of self does mean is that we have to have complete control of ourselves. It means we don’t go berserk when someone does something that injures us in a minor way. We don’t completely lose our self-control and start acting like a five-year-old if we are called out of the audience in a TV game show. We are disciplined, controlled. If we aren’t, we are doomed. People engaging in spiritual development who cannot keep their emotions in check are the easiest targets of the dark beings who want to stop such development. Continue reading “Conquest of Self Begins Spiritual Growth”

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divine child

Divine Child and the Awakened Soul

“The Divine Child which was, in the hour of the mystic conversion, born in the spark of the soul, must learn like other children to walk. …There are many eager trials, many hopes, many disappointments. At last, as it seems suddenly, the moment comes; tottering is over, the muscles have learned their lesson, … and the new self suddenly finds itself—it knows not how—standing upright and secure. That is the moment which marks the boundary between the purgative and the illuminative states.

“The process of this passage of the ‘new’ or spiritual man from his awakening to the illuminated life, has been set out by Jacob Boehme in language which is at one poetic and precise, ‘When Christ the corner stone [ie., the divine principle latent in man] stirreth himself in the extinguished image of man in his hearty conversion and repentance,’ he says, ‘then virgin Sophia appeareth in the stirring of the Spirit of Christ in the extinguished image, in her virgins attire before the Soul; at which the soul is amazed and astonished…’” ~Evelyn Underhill

The Divine Child

There are several ways to interpret “Divine Child”. It could reference Jesus. It could reference the final coming of Christ into the world of man, or it could simply represent the awakening of the Christ Consciousness within ourselves. I think it is clearly the latter in this case.

Another way to look at it is that the awakened soul is the Divine Child. It is like a child, according to Underhill, because it needs training, it needs to mature. Like a newborn, it has much to learn. Awakening (birth) is just the beginning.

Learning to Walk

Ms. Underhill says that this Divine Child, born in the “spark of the soul.” must learn to walk. This is an allegory, of course. The soul doesn’t walk, but it does grow and learn. It doesn’t learn in the same way that a human infant learns, but it learns nonetheless.

The soul may be considered to be a tiny piece of God. A tiny piece that is connected to all the other pieces like bricks in a wall or links in a chain. Because our divine soul is linked to all the others, it has access to all the knowledge, all the truth that exists. But when first awakened, it doesn’t know that. It doesn’t remember that it knows everything, so it has to learn again. It doesn’t remember how to assess all of that truth and wisdom. So it learns gradually, like an infant learning to walk. Continue reading “Divine Child and the Awakened Soul”

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