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Thursday, September 24, 2009

(writing by me) Baphomet - Alchemy - The Temple of Solomon


The infamous image of Baphomet (shown above) was created by Eliphas Levi, a French occult scholar and ceremonial magician, in the mid 19th century. The name Baphomet has been linked with the Templars since the early 14th century, when the name came up in their inquisitional trials. At their trials, some of the Templars admitted that it was part of the Templar tradition to worship, or in some way venerate the idea of Baphomet. Since these confessions were obtained via severe torture, the question remains as to whether or not the information was accurate, or if they were merely forced to say what their tormentors wanted them to say. However, further elaborations on the the idea that the name Baphomet has a direct connection to Solomon’s Temple appear to have first come into public awareness via Levi's writings, also of the mid 19th century period. Levi asserts that the name was qabalisticly formed by writing backward tem. o. h. p. ab which is an abbreviation of temple omnium hominum pacis abbas, ‘abbot’ or ‘father of the temple of all men.’ We can only speculate as to whether or not this indicated a connection to Solomon's Temple, or if occult scholars during Levi’s time may have had other undisclosed information which led them to the conclusion that a connection exists. According to an article posted on Wikipedia, “The name Baphomet first appears around 1195 in the Occitan poem "Senhors, per los nostres peccatz" by the troubadour Gavaudan.” This is more than seven hundred years after the temple is said to have been destroyed. Given the disparate time frame, it seems more likely that the name was not associated with the temple during the period that the temple is said to have existed, but instead it may have been attributed some meaning in connection with the temple in the middle ages by an unknown individual or group pre-dating Eliphas Levi's lifetime.

The very least that can be said is that it is possible that the Templars did revere something called Baphomet. Interestingly, the Greek words baphe and Metis have been translated to mean “Baptism of Wisdom”. Another theory proposes that Baphomet may derive from the Arabic word Abu fihamat, meaning “The Father of Understanding”. A well known Dead Sea Scroll scholar argues that the word Baphomet was created with knowledge of the Atbash substitution cipher, which substitutes the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet for the last, the second for the second last and so on. Using this method, the name Baphomet becomes “Sophia”, or wisdom. If any of these theories are correct, then the name Baphomet may very well be an appropriate representation of the supreme goal that the Templars sought to achieve.

Although shrouded in mystery and veiled by symbolism, secret oaths, ciphers and codes, it is generally widely accepted that the Templars sought a direct mystical experience alluded to in Grail lore; the accomplishment of the Great Work; what the alchemists termed Rubedo, the final stage of the alchemical process in which enlightened consciousness and the total fusion of spirit and matter is achieved; the masculine consciousness (lingam) is immersed in the feminine, intuitive, unconscious, wisdom, Sophia (yoni).

In the natural man, subconsciousness, typified as feminine, is subordinate to self-consciousness. In the regenerated man, subconsciousness is released for a higher purpose and becomes the equal of her mate, self-consciousness. - Paul Foster Case - The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order

The famous Swiss transpersonal psychologist, Carl Jung, who himself devoted the later years or his life to a deep and personal study of the teachings of the Gnostics and the mysteries of alchemy, calls this stage Individuation; a condition in which the Self manifests itself in “wholeness”, a point in which a person discovers his or her true nature. Additionally, past and present scholars have noted that the archetypes of Solomon and Sheba may be understood on several levels. In the introduction to a book by New York based Jungian analyst and champion storyteller, Barbara Black Koltuv, titled ‘Solomon and Sheba – Inner Marriage and Individuation’ it is related that in regards to Solomon and Sheba - “It is a simple, splendid love story; it is also the story of the heart's journey toward individuation, a conjunction of the masculine and feminine principle existing in every human psyche. Men and women grow because of their relationship with each other and this alchemical experience is brilliantly explained by Koltuv."




 Levi's depiction of Baphomet is the story of Solomon and Sheba personified and much of the symbolism is drawn from numerous traditions. Levi used the goat to add a specific representation to the overall symbol, that being of fertility and the sexual allegory of the process of unification.

          From - http://altreligion.about.com/od/symbols/a/baphomet.htm
Fertility and Life:
The choice of goat-like features for Baphomet comes from several connections between goats and fertility. Levi himself called the figure Baphomet of Mendes, comparing him to what he believed was a goat-headed Egyptian god honored for fertility purposes. Pan, a Greek god with goat features, was likewise commonly associated with fertility in the nineteenth century. "

From: http://www.argentiumastrum.org/Adept Works/Two Essays On The Worship Of Priapus.pdf
"For instance; the celebrated bronze in the Vatican has the male organs of generation placed upon the head of a cock, the emblem of the sun, supported by the neck and shoulders of a man. In this composition they represented the generative power of  (...), the Osiris, Mithras, or Bacchus, whose centre is the sun, incarnate with man. By the inscription on the pedestal, the attribute this personified, is styled The Saviour of the World (...) ; a title always venerable, under whatever image it be represented.The Egyptians showed this incarnation of the Deity by a less permanent, though equally expressive symbol. At Mendes a living goat was kept as the image of the generative power, to whom the women presented themselves naked, and had the honour of being publicly enjoyed by him. Herodotus saw the act openly performed (...), and calls it a prodigy (...). But the Egyptians had no such horror of it; for it was to them a representation of the incarnation of the Deity, and the communication of his creative spirit to man. It was one of the sacraments of that ancient church, and was, without doubt, beheld with that pious awe and reverence with which devout persons always contemplate the mysteries of their faith..."

Levi must have been aware of the repulsion that the image would stir up in many people, yet, he was following in the age-old tradition of employing a monstrous beast to guard treasure from the profane and uninitiated. Levi calls it "the sphinx of the occult sciences." A sphinx is most commonly a creature with the body of a lion and the head of human. They originated in Egypt, where they were probably connected with guardianship, among other things. By Levi’s time, the Freemasons were also using sphinxes as symbols of guardians of secrets and mysteries.

The symbolic head of the goat of Mendes is occasionally given to (...) [the figure of Azoth], and it is then the Baphomet of the Templars and the Word of the Gnostics, bizarre images which became scarecrows for the vulgar after affording food for reflection to sages – innocent hieroglyphs of thought and faith which have been a pretext for the rage of persecutions. How pitiable are men in their ignorance, but how they would despise themselves if only they came to know! - Eliphas Levi, Dogma and Ritual of High Magic

Azoth


The upright pentagram on the forehead symbolizes light. The figure is also androgynous, portrayed with male genitalia and breasts. One arm is strong and masculine while the other is soft and feminine; one hand points up, the other down. It embodies both animal and human characteristics. In general, even to the untrained eye, it suggests balance, amalgamation, conjunction, coupling, fusion, harmony, melding, merging, and unity. In Magick in Theory and Practice, Aleister Crowley refers to Baphomet as “the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection…He is therefore life, and Love.”

In the following, Levi and others provide us with additional insights to the meaning and symbolism:
From: http://hermetic.com/osiris/levibaphomet.htm
Eliphas Levi writes in his book Trancendental Magic - “Yes, in our profound conviction, the Grand Masters of the Order of Templars worshipped the Baphomet, and caused it to be worshipped by their initiates; yes, there existed in the past, and there may be still in the present, assemblies which are presided over by this figure, seated on a throne and having a flaming torch between the horns. But the adorers of this sign do not consider, [nor] do we, that it is a representation of the devil; on the contrary, for them it is that of the god Pan, the god of our modern schools of philosophy, the god of the Alexandrian theurgic school and of our own mystical Neoplatonists, the god of Lamartine and Victor Cousin, the god of Spinoza and Plato, the god of the primitive Gnostic schools; the Christ also of the dissident priesthood.”
From: Do what thou wilt: a life of Aleister Crowley – by Lawrence Sutin
Refering to a meeting between Crowley’s and Theodore Reuss – “He explained to Crowley the theory behind that school of Alchemy (...) He enlarged on the Baphomet tradition of the Knights Templars and traced it’s alleged survival through the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light (a nineteenth-century esoteric society). He then showed the connection with those Tantrics who follow the left hand path (utilizing ritual sexual intercourse as a means of spiritual union with the godhead), and the Hathayogins who practice sexual mudras (sacred postures).”

From: Do what thou wilt: a life of Aleister Crowley – by Lawrence Sutin
As a sign of his authority as national Supreme Rex, Crowley took a new magical name – Baphomet. As indicated above, Baphomet lore was regarded by Reuss as crucial to the great secret of the O.T.O. [Order of Oriental Templars] This name was already familiar to Crowley – indeed, Chapter 33 [of Crowley's Book] of Lies was entitled “Baphomet.” But to understand the full significance of this name, and of Crowley’s new identification with it, one must briefly consider the esoteric lineage of the O.T.O., which drew both from Indian tantrism and from a host of past Western secret societies, including (as the name O.T.O. confirms), the Knights Templar.

From: Do what thou wilt: a life of Aleister Crowley – by Lawrence Sutin
The chief idol alleged to have been worshiped was Baphomet, a name the meaning of which has inspired considerable controversy in both esoteric and scholarly circles. The accusers at the Templar trial (which concluded in 1314) insisted the Baphomet was a cyper for Mohammed (Mahomet) – and thus was proof that the Templars had strayed, during their stay in the Holy Land, into heresy. A more persuasive recent interpretation, offered by Idries Shah, is that Baphomet is a corruption of the Arabic abufihamat (“faith of understanding”). Baphomet would thus be a cipher for the completed or enlightened human being.

The symbolism also makes reference to the Tree of Life glyph of Jewish Mysticism. The Tree of Life is a vast subject in and of itself. It was adopted universally by all branches of the Western Mystery traditions in the middle ages. Simply put, it could be called a map of consciousness ranging from the mundane to the most ineffable. Mystics chart their path from the lowest position on the tree back up through various levels of consciousness. Each stage of the path represents a growth and achievement of a specific nature or grade. If the reader is unfamiliar with the Tree of Life, additional study will be required to gain a better understanding of these concepts, however, the following illustration provides an basic reference point for the following quotes:



From: http://hermetic.com/osiris/levibaphomet.htm
Quoting Eliphas Levi in his book Trancendental Magic - “The goat which is represented in our frontispiece bears upon its forehead the Sign of the Pentagram with one point in the ascendant, which is sufficient to distinguish it as a symbol of the light. Moreover, the sign of occultism is made with both hands, pointing upward to the white moon of CHESED, and downward to the black moon of GEBURAH. This sign expresses the perfect concord between mercy and justice. One of the arms is feminine and the other masculine, as in the androgyne of Khunrath, whose attributes we have combined with those of our goat, since they are one and the same symbol. The torch of intelligence burning between the horns is the magical light of universal equilibrium; it is also a type of the soul exalted above matter, even while cleaving to matter, as the flame cleaves to the torch. … The caduceus, which replaces the generative organ, represents eternal life; the scale-covered belly typifies water; the circle above it is the atmosphere, the feathers still higher up signify the volatile; lastly, humanity is depicted by the two breasts and the androgyne arms of this sphinx of the occult sciences. … The dread Baphomet henceforth, like all monstrous idols, enigmas of antique science and its dreams, is only an innocent and even pious hieroglyph.” 

Levi described Baphomet and the Androgyne of Khunrath as, "...one and the same symbol."

In, 'The Golden Game: Alchemical Engravings of the Seventeenth Century,' by Stanislas Klossowski de Rola, Stanislas tells us:
The Rebis, Hermaphrodite or Androgyne of the Wise is born from the union of the twin principles (Sulphur and Mercury, or male and female elements), who enter the mercurial Bath. This, like the mythical fountain where the nymph Salmacis swam, has the property of turning both sexes into one: that is, it dissolves the bodies radically in such a way that, once recomposed in the Fixation, they are One.

Androgyne of Khunrath


As quoted above, "...his two hands forming the sign of hermetism, the one pointing up to the white moon of Chesed, the other pointing down to the black one of Geburah. This sign expresses the perfect harmony of mercy with justice."

Tiphareth is the spere on the Tree of Life in which the characteristics of Chesed and Geburah are balanced. Occultists identify Tiphareth as the sphere of spiritual rebirth, and is ascribed to solar deities such as Ra, Apollo, and Mithra as well as Osiris and Christ. The term Holy Guardian Angel from Aleister Crowley's system known as Thelema also equates with this level.

The following is from Tree of Sapphires: The Enlightened Qabalah by David Goddard
"The Messiah - Because the number 21 is the sum of the numbers from 0 to 6 inclusive (called the Theosophic extension of 6), it relates to Tiphareth. Each line of the pentagram represents an extension, or full expression, of the power of the sphere of the Sun. As you know, the higher self (or Holy Guardian Angel) is assigned to Tiphareth. It is an individualized aspect of the collective of Tiphareth. This collective, in its totality, is Tiphareth; in Rosicrucian symbolism, this is the Christ. Now here, we are not teaching any dogmatic or theological concepts of Christ; we are referring to the universal power of redemption, reconciliation, and ballance."

Additionally, the Rosy Cross, Cube of Space and the Philosopher's Stone are symbols synonymous with one another. They relate to The Great Work and the building of Solomon's Temple within oneself.


The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. - Psalm 118:22

In Hebrew, the phrase "the Stone which the Builders refused" is Ehben Masu Ha-Bonaim (ABN MASV H BVNIM). An interesting connection to Alchemy occurs here, in that the reference to a rejected stone recalls the idea of the Philosopher's Stone, made up of materials that are commonly rejected or abhorred, but praised as the roots of philosophical gold by the alchemists. - Gregory Peters, Masonic Writings

The Cube of Space (also see - http://unusmundus-melie.blogspot.com/2014/01/video-cube-of-space-and-22-paths-of.html#links ) is a model of psychological space and an integrated framework for the metaphors of embodied and situated experience. The 22 paths of The Tree of Life, the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the 22 trumps of the tarot all correlate to this cube in a precise manner. The structure of that package, and suggestions for opening it are at the heart of every teaching of the Western mystery traditions.

...the Cube of Space [of Qabalah and the Tree of Life], the philosopher's stone, like the cubic stone of Freemasonry, represents the many stages leading to masterhood, which all seekers on the path to enlightenment will eventually obtain. - David Allen Hulse, New Dimensions for the Cube of Space

Thus everybody lives inside an enclosed and bounded cube locking inner space in a package.   Suares, SY, p.87

It may be said therefore that the Philosophical Stone is square in every sense, like the heavenly Jerusalem of St. John; that one of its sides is inscribed with the name SHLMH and the other with that of GOD; that one of its facets bears the name of ADAM, a second that of HEVA, and the two others those of AZOT and INRI. At the beginning of the French translation of a book by the Sieur de Nuisement on the Philosophical Salt, the spirit of the earth is represented standing on a cube over which tongues of flame are passing; the phallus is replaced by a caduceus; the sun and moon figure on the right and left breast; the figure is bearded, crowned and holds a sceptre in his hand. This is the AZOTH of the sages on its pedestal of Salt and Sulphur. - Eliphas Levi, Dogma and Ritual of High Magic

Cube of Space Tarot Attributions


Cube of Space Hebrew Letter Attributions

From Wikipedia - Rosy Cross
The rosy cross is further symbolic of (...) the Qabalistic sphere of Tiphareth on the Tree of Life, the magical formula INRI, and the concepts of Light (LVX) and Life. 
The rose cross (also called rosy cross and rose croix) is a symbol largely associated with the semi-mythical Christian Rosencreutz, alchemist and founder of the Rosicrucian Order.

The symbol of the rosy cross played a substantial role within the system of Thelema as developed by Aleister Crowley. In a cosmological context, the rose is Nuit, the infinitely expanded goddess of the night sky, and the cross is Hadit, the ultimately contracted atomic point. For Crowley, it was the job of the adept to identify with the appropriate symbol so to experience the mystical conjunction of opposites, which leads to attainment. In this sense, the rose cross is a grand symbol of the Great Work:


Cube Unfolded



Rosy Cross


Crowley also makes clear that all of these symbols of mystical union are reflected in the sexual act as well:

The Tau and the circle together make one form of the Rosy Cross, the uniting of subject and object which is the Great Work, and which is symbolized sometimes as this cross and circle, sometimes as the Lingam-Yoni, sometimes as the Ankh or Crux Ansata, sometimes by the Spire and Nave of a church or temple, and sometimes as a marriage feast, mystic marriage, spiritual marriage, "chymical nuptials," and in a hundred other ways. Whatever the form chosen, it is the symbol of the Great Work.  
So we need not be surprised if the Unity of Subject and Object in Consciousness which is samādhi, the uniting of the Bride and the Lamb which is Heaven, the uniting of the Magus and the god which is Evocation, the uniting of the Man and his Holy Guardian Angel which is the seal upon the work of the Adeptus Minor, is symbolized by the geometrical unity of the circle and the square, the arithmetical unity of the 5 and the 6, and (for more universality of comprehension) the uniting of the Lingam and the Yoni, the Cross and the Rose. For as in earth-life the sexual ecstasy is the loss of self in the Beloved, the creation of a third consciousness transcending its parents, which is again reflected into matter as a child; so, immeasurably higher, upon the Plane of Spirit, Subject and Object join to disappear, leaving a transcendent unity. This third is ecstasy and death; as below, so above.



On Baphomet and the Devil:




From: Do what thou wilt: a life of Aleister Crowley – by Lawrence Sutin
Crowley, in taking the name Baphomet, was linking himself not only to the Templar tradition, but also to the blasphemous, even Satanic, connotation of Baphomet. He was well aware of the challenge thus posed to Christian believers. In Magick in Theory and Practice, Crowley dismissed them as a bloated majority that had perverted the Gnostic teachings of spiritual awakening: Crowley adds, "He is the Devil of the book of Thoth (the Tarot deck), and his emblem is Baphomet, the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection…He is therefore life, and Love. But moreover his letter is Ayin (the Hebrew letter assigned to trump called The Devil in the tarot deck), the Eye; he is Light, and his Zodiacal image is Capricornus, that leaping goat whose attribute is Liberty.

From: an article entitled Kabbalah - The Path of Ayin, The Devil - author unknown
 The Path of Ayin, THE DEVIL, connects Tiphareth, the center of the Sun consciousness, with Hod, sphere of Mercury and of the intellect. The twenty-sixth Path is formative and, in terms of the structure of the self, is an intellectual bridge between the Personality and the Individuality....
In Qabalistic terms, the Devil is not viewed as an evil entity having its own separate existence. Rather, it represents a special mystery which must be penetrated before one can directly know the Higher Principle of the Self. The Devil, which is the adversary, is the Master of manifest form which we must face and conquer."
"Here we understand that we are dealing with a Path on the Tree of Life which is a transition between the intellect of normal waking consciousness and true spiritual consciousness....
The card contains one of the greatest mysteries of the Qabalah, which is that the Devil is the necessary means of reaching the Christ-Buddha consciousness of Tiphareth."
"This Path confers the ability to bring right-side-up the Devil's Pentagram and to lift his torch upward. In practical terms, this means the ability to reverse the currents of Astral Light. Intellect and disciplined meditation are the means by which this may be accomplished, and by which the Philosophers Stone and Elixir of Life may be produced....
Thus does the Devil hold up the very means of release from bondage. In him is both that which enslaves and that which confers freedom.

 "In Tarot, the letter Ayin is represented by Key 15, named The Devil. Thus, this Key is a symbol of that Enemy of mankind that is mentioned in the manifestoes as the cause of all degeneration in the arts and sciences. ...we shall be prepared to understand that this "Devil" of exoteric dogmatism is the Enemy in one sense only, which is that he personifies what appears to be antagonistic to our search for truth. He is what produces the appearance. He is the Dweller on the Threshold, barring the way that leads to the inner center. Thus, he is, we discover, the same in function as Daleth, the door that must be opened and passed before we can enter the Palace of the King." - Paul foster Case, The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order

And on the seventh day there went forth from the presence of God a mighty Angel, full of wrath and consuming fire, and God gave unto him the dominion of the outermost sphere. Eternity brought forth Time; the Boundless gave birth to Limit; Being descended into Generation. As lightning I beheld Satan fall from heaven, splendid in strength and fury. Among the Gods is none like unto him, into whose hand are committed the kingdoms, the power and the glory of the worlds.. . . Blessed are they who shall withstand his subtlety: they shall be called the sons of God, and shall enter in at the beautiful gates. For Satan is the doorkeeper of the Temple of the King: he standeth in Solomon's porch; he holdeth the Keys of the Sanctuary; that no man may enter therein save the anointed, having the arcanum of Hermes.- Kingsford and Maitland, The Perfect Way


The following are notes on Solomon's Temple as it relates to Baphomet, Alchemy and the 'Magnum Opus' or 'Great Work' and repeated reference to the Uiniversal Agent:

From: http://hermetic.com/osiris/levibaphomet.htm
In the introduction to Doctrine in Transcendental Magic, Lévi identifies Baphomet with a force he calls the Universal Agent:

“There exists in Nature a force which is immeasurably more powerful than steam, and a single man, who is able to adapt and direct it, might change thereby the face of the whole world. This force was known to the ancients; it consists in a Universal Agent having equilibrium for its supreme law, while its direction is concerned immediately with the Great Arcanum of Transcendental Magic. ... This agent... is precisely that which the adepts of the Middle Ages denominated the First Matter of the Great Work. The Gnostics represented it as the fiery body of the Holy Spirit; it was the object of adoration in the Secret Rites of the Sabbath and the Temple, under the hieroglyphic figure of Baphomet or the Androgyne of Mendes.”

From The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall -
"Thus the building of Solomon's Temple represents the consummation of the magnum opus, which cannot be realized without the assistance of CHiram, the Universal Agent."

From Writings by Boyd Rice - http://www.thevesselofgod.com/crosslorraine.html
Interestingly, the Cross of Lorraine bears an uncanny resemblance to the sigil of Baphomet employed by British Magus Aleister Crowley, and the meaning of the two symbols would appear to be virtually synonymous. Baphomet is, after all, the penultimate hermetic symbol, whether depicted by Crowley in the form of a cross, or by Eliphas Levi as a goat-headed hermaphrodite. And the sigil used by Crowley was also employed by ancient alchemists as a device whose meaning was literally "very poisonous." In fact, the symbol was commonly affixed to containers of toxic substances in Europe as recently as the mid-twentieth century. To the alchemists, of course, the symbol and its very meaning had far more esoteric connotations. To them, poison represented an agent (Universal Agent) of transformation, a vehicle for the reconciliation of opposites. And there is an alchemical myth about a poison which for most men is extremely deadly, while for the elect it confers mastership and absolute power. Echoes of this idea recur as a motif in various aspects of the Grail lore. It would seem that the alchemists accorded this symbol very much the same meaning attributed it by Crowley, which in turn echoes what the Cross of Lorraine embodied for Rene d'Anjou. It is little known, but the Cross of Lorraine was also the official emblem of the Knights Templar.

From The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall
In an old manuscript appears the statement that the Freemasonic Order was formed by alchemists and Hermetic philosophers who had banded themselves together to protect their secrets against the infamous methods used by avaricious persons to wring from them the secret of gold-making. The fact that the Hiramic legend contains an alchemical formula gives credence to this story. Thus the building of Solomon's Temple represents the consummation of the magnum opus, which cannot be realized without the assistance of CHiram, the Universal Agent. The Masonic Mysteries teach the initiate how to prepare within his own soul a miraculous powder of projection by which it is possible for him to transmute the base lump of human ignorance, perversion, and discord into an ingot of spiritual and philosophic gold.

Sufficient similarity exists between the Masonic CHiram and the Kundalini of Hindu mysticism to warrant the assumption that CHiram may be considered a symbol also of the Spirit Fire moving through the sixth ventricle of the spinal column. The exact science of human regeneration is the Lost Key of Masonry, for when the Spirit Fire is lifted up through the thirty-three degrees, or segments of the spinal column, and enters into the domed chamber of the human skull, it finally passes into the pituitary body (Isis), where it invokes Ra (the pineal gland) and demands the Sacred Name. Operative Masonry, in the fullest meaning of that term, signifies the process by which the Eye of Horus is opened. E. A. Wallis Budge has noted that in some of the papyri illustrating the entrance of the souls of the dead into the judgment hall of Osiris the deceased person has a pine cone attached to the crown of his head. The Greek mystics also carried a symbolic staff, the upper end being in the form of a pine cone, which was called the thyrsus of Bacchus. In the human brain there is a tiny gland called the pineal body, which is the sacred eye of the ancients, and corresponds to the third eye of the Cyclops. Little is known concerning the function of the pineal body, which Descartes suggested (more wisely than he knew) might be the abode of the spirit of man. As its name signifies, the pineal gland is the sacred pine cone in man--the eye single, which cannot be opened until CHiram (the Spirit Fire) is raised through the sacred seals which are called the Seven Churches in Asia.

There is an Oriental painting which shows three sun bursts. One sunburst covers the head, in the midst of which sits Brahma with four heads, his body a mysterious dark color. The second sunburst--which covers the heart, solar plexus, and upper abdominal region--shows Vishnu sitting in the blossom of the lotus on a couch formed of the coils of the serpent of cosmic motion, its seven-hooded head forming a canopy over the god. The third sunburst is over the generative system, in the midst of which sits Shiva, his body a grayish white and the Ganges River flowing out of the crown of his head. This painting was the work of a Hindu mystic who spent many years subtly concealing great philosophical principles within these figures. The Christian legends could be related also to the human body by the same method as the Oriental, for the arcane meanings hidden in the teachings of both schools are identical.

From The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall
According to the Talmudic legends, Solomon understood the mysteries of the Qabbalah. He was also an alchemist and a necromancer, being able to control the dæmons, and from them and other inhabitants of the invisible worlds he secured much of his wisdom. In his translation of Clavicula Salomonis, or The Key of Solomon the King, a work presumably setting forth the magical secrets gathered by Solomon and used by him in the conjuration of spirits and which, according to Frank C. Higgins, contains many sidelights on Masonic initiatory rituals, S. L. MacGregor-Mathers recognizes the probability that King Solomon was a magician in the fullest sense of that word. "I see no reason to doubt," he affirms, "the tradition which assigns the authorship of the 'Key' to King Solomon, for among others Josephus, the Jewish historian, especially mentions the magical works attributed to that monarch; this is confirmed by many Eastern traditions, and his magical skill is frequently mentioned in the Arabian Nights."

From The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall
According to the ancient Rabbins, Solomon was an initiate of the Mystery schools and the temple which he built was actually a house of initiation containing amass of pagan philosophic and phallic emblems. The pomegranates, the palm-headed columns, the Pillars before the door, the Babylonian cherubim, and the arrangement of the chambers and draperies all indicate the temple to have been patterned after the sanctuaries of Egypt and Atlantis.

From The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall
Solomon, the Spirit of Universal Illumination--mental, spiritual, moral, and physical--is personified in the king of an earthly nation. While a great ruler by that name may have built a temple, he who considers the story solely from its historical angle will never clear away the rubbish that covers the secret vaults.

In conclusion:

From The Temple of Solomon the King by Crowley
For, children! when ye halt at one thing, ye cease to open yourselves to all things. For to come to the All, ye must give up the All, and likewise possess the All. Verily ye must destroy all things and out of No-thing found and build the Temple of God as set up by Solomon the King, which is placed between Time and Space; the pillars thereof are Eternity, and the walls Infinity, and the floor Immortality, and the Roof --- but ye shall know of this hereafter! Spoil thyself if so thou readest thyself; but if it is written adorn thyself, then spare not the uttermost farthing, but deck thyself with all the jewels and gems of earth; and from a child playing with the sands on the sea- shore shalt thou become God, whose footstool is the Abyss, and from whose mouth goeth forth the sword of the salvation and destruction of the worlds, and in whose hand rest the seven stars of heaven.

From The Temple of Solomon the King by Crowley
O my brothers! come with me! follow me! Let us mount the dark stairs of this Tower of Silence, this Watch-tower of Night; upon whose black brow no flickering flame burns to guide the weary wanderer across the mires of life and through the mists of death. Come, follow me! Grope up these age-worn steps, slippery with the tears of the fallen, and bearded with the blood of the vanquished and the salt of the agony of failure. Come, come! Halt not! Abandon all! Let us ascend. Yet bring with ye two things, the flint and the steel --- the slumbering fire of Mystery, and the dark sword of Science; that we may strike a spark, and fire the beacon of Hope which hangs above us in the brasier of Despair; so that a great light may shine forth through the darkness, and guide the toiling footsteps of man to that Temple which is built without hands, fashioned without iron, or gold, or silver, and in which no fire burns; whose pillars are as columns of light, whose dome is as a crown of effulgence set betwixt the wings of Eternity, and upon whose altar flashes the mystic eucharist of God.

"For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union. This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all." - Liber AL

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