Along the earthly darkened border, walking with uplifted eyes, I see fires of sublime order scintillating in the skies.

The pictorial number ‘130069’ represents a heroic epic, a tremendous human struggle. It is a triptych, a symbolic representation of three stages of development. We begin at the end, to end at the beginning.

We stand on the dark earthly shores as ‘6’ and ‘9’. The six indicates our earthly personality, the inheritance of our parents, the result of our bloodline. The nine symbolizes the eternal and immortal part of man. It is the inheritance of our heavenly Father.

When the six cannot recognize the nine, acknowledge it, and therefore cannot find meaning, the earthly shores are dark. The earthly fish cannot recognize the heavenly fish and is thrown onto the beach by the raging waves. But, the earthly shores do not seem dark at all at first. On the contrary! The sunlight sparkles in the water and the palms, moved by the sea breeze, wave kindly at us. In this state, we also stand at the shoreline with uplifted eyes. However, it is not the eye of the soul, but the two earthly eyes.

Twelve delusions

Then a long path of development begins. This path is represented by the ‘0’ located next to the ‘6’. It is a magical circular journey with twelve aspects. These aspects are the twelve ideas that propel humanity forward. They are twelve concentrations of forces that interact with us, because we ourselves are the creators of these forces. These compelling influences determine the direction of our earthly path and are called ‘aeons’ in the Gnostic teaching. In The Gnostic Mysteries of the Pistis Sophia, Jan van Rijckenborgh has designated these twelve aeons[1]. When, based on his classification, we divide these twelve aeons into five groups, we get the following overview.

The first group consists of two aeons: 1. the principle of I-consciousness and 2. the instinct of possession. This group is the foundation of earthly existence and the guiding idea is: I am a separated human being who must maintain himself and therefore I need possessions. The ‘I’ tries to secure itself in matter and anchors itself with possessions. These possessions are both material and immaterial. The intangible include, for example, our wealth of knowledge and our emotional ties to other people.

Based on the first, the second group of aeons emerges. This second group contains: 3. the brotherhood idea, 4. the idea of patriotism and 5. the ideal of strength, courage and heroism. Here the guiding idea is a limited, restricted unity. My family, my sphere of interest, my country. Because of this imitation of unity – one person is included, the other one not – struggle arises. After all, the others who do not belong to my group also have interests. Therefore, strength and heroism also belong to this group: through strength and courage we win the battle, our group can prevail. Media reports are full of aspects of this group. Consider, for example, the professional sports world.

In the third group, we see that the aeonic picture changes. This group consists of: 6. the idea of fertility and 7. the idea of true harmony of life. Here we are dealing with the ideal of living in harmony with nature. Why the aeonic aspiration has changed and why the fourth group must follow this phase will become clear later.

The fourth group is formed by: 8. the development called occultism. ‘Occult’ means ‘hidden’. Here we meet all esoteric and occult movements and methods by which an attempt is made to penetrate into the unknown, hidden part of the earthly realm. Generally, the I-consciousness remains in the forefront during these attempts. The ‘I’ seeks to expand its radius of action. Occult endeavors are therefore followed by the last group of four aeons.

This fifth group is characterized by: 9. the dream of dialectical deification and the attempt to realize this delusion in 10. mental sense, 11. ethical justification and 12. material realization. We will return to this group in detail as well.

Thus stands before us the chain of delusion, the twelve hours of the dialectical day, the twelve gates of Maya.

Aeonic clock

At the onset of a cosmic day of revelation, the aeonic clock begins to tick. Twelve stages of development of human culture begin. Following a human being on his epic journey through these phases, we see, very generally considered, the following picture.

In order to maintain ourselves in earthly nature, we need to have an I-consciousness. Nature is changeable and full of dangers. To respond adequately to these changes, we must employ a conscious strategy. However, our survival strategy depends on resources: food, housing, weapons and knowledge. The instinct of possession is thus inseparable from the I-consciousness. The first and second aeons form the foundation of the ‘I’ and life as we know it.

When the most basic needs are met, the forces of the second group assert themselves. Now it is about securing our gains. Alone we are weak and vulnerable, but together with others, like-minded people, we can protect our assets. So we form groups: our company, our political party, our country. The consequence is conflict. We will have to fight for our interests, for our ideas. Once again the earth colors red with blood. Has it ever been different?

We said that with the third group, the aeonic picture changes. It is a logical consequence, because the constant battle causes fatigue. The suffering, sorrow and desolation of incessant struggle, make us long for peace and harmony of life. We hope for an end to futility and embark on a path that seems fruitful to us. This aspiration is illustrated by people who turn away from industrialized life and choose an existence in the countryside. A life close to and in harmony with nature.

Yet this romantic and idyllic idea cannot truly fulfill the human soul. This is because in nature things always return to their starting point. All natural processes are cycles. We always end up empty-handed and a new cycle begins. Hence, this also leads to fatigue and to the desire for meaningfulness, for a continuing development in an ascending direction.

This pursuit culminates in the fourth group, that of occultism and esotericism. We are going to try to transcend the visible and known aspects of nature, by exploring the unknown and hidden part. Our search for meaningfulness continues. The eighth aeon is very magical, because the world on the other side of the veil is brought into enhanced contact with our daily lives. Undoubtedly interesting, but also dangerous. Do we know exactly what we are doing? The number ‘8’ consists of two wheels, two worlds. When we connect with our I-consciousness the upper wheel, the beyond, with the lower wheel, the material world, the wheels begin to spin faster. Because of our conscious activities in multiple worlds, the cycles accelerate. The accumulation of karma and its effects – cause and effect – speeds up. Occultism thus brings acceleration, but no solution.

Maybe it is good to point out that the aeonic aspects span many incarnations. Our accumulated wealth of experience, although subconscious, manifests itself in each new life on earth. If we lived through a certain phase and discovered its essence in an earlier incarnation, it is not necessary to repeat this experience. Then we have the feeling that we know the fruits of a certain path; we have tasted them. We can comprehend our current personality and character as a result of the past. As individual personalities we are very distinct due to the different aeonic aspects which predominate in us at the moment. Still, all these aeonic features are not the essence of a human being, they change with the movement of the hands of time.

Last phase

Since a real solution to our life problem has not been found, we finally arrive at the last group of aeons. This fifth group represents the dream of dialectical deification and the step-by-step realization of this attempt. It is a quest for immortality, an attempt to realize paradise on earth. The goal is to conquer death. Like a holy grail, this idea stands before man. We will go a little deeper into a particular variation of this idea, because this aspiration emerges strongly in our days.

It is about the development of robots and artificial intelligence. The propelling idea is: if we can transfer our consciousness into a robot brain with artificial brain cells, we can live on when our body dies. Or, if we modify our natural body with robotic implants, we can stop the decay of our body. Then we replace the defective parts like we do with a car.

Fans of the Star Trek movies will remember that there was a civilization called the ‘Borg’. They were beings with robotic implants controlled by a collective consciousness called the ‘Borg Queen’. They flew through the universe in giant cubes, swallowing up other civilizations and, after technological adaptation, assimilating them into their collective. Upon such assimilation, the ominous message sounded: “Resistance is futile.” A typical example of the aeonic idea of the fifth group. In the past this was ‘science fiction’, the elaboration of this idea was on the mental level of the tenth aeon: it was presented to us like a movie. But now we have reached the twelfth aeon and we can see the realization of this aspiration in matter in a wide variety: there are nanorobots which can enter our bloodstream, robotic insects used by the military and the possibility of direct communication between our brain and a computer. In this video you can see how it stands with the humanoid robot.

Utopian dream

First the question of why the aeonic approach could never succeed, why immortality pursued in this way remains a utopia. It has to do with the fundamental nature and laws of matter: that which constitutes the earthly field of life.

Let us say someone bakes a loaf of bread in the traditional way. If he kneads the dough with attention and love for his work, then he transfers something of himself to his product. Something of the quality of his soul flows into his work. The result is a high quality, rich product. But the problem is: it is only one loaf of bread. How are we going to feed all the hungry? We make a machine with mechanical kneading arms, conveyor belts, fully automatic and technically advanced. Now we produce a thousand loaves in the same time. Only, these loaves do not have the same nutritional value, the same quality, as our one loaf: in energetic respect, they are poor.

We see a paradox between richness and poverty. Like all the polarities in nature they are connected and inseparable. Our gain becomes our loss and our loss will be our gain again. In nature, when we gain something on the left side, something is lost on the right side, and vice versa. It is the essence of relativity.

Two possibilities

As indicated earlier, as a collective, as humanity, we have arrived at the twelfth aeon. What happens when the aeonic clock strikes twelve? There are two possibilities: a positive and a negative development. We have a choice between a collective decline or an inner revolution. The positive solution, the inner revolution, leads to a personal ascent. If many people chose this liberating path, there would also be a collective ascent. Again, the ascent and decline take place simultaneously. The forced, collective downfall is the negative solution.

The eons, fed by human thought power, cannot increase infinitely in power and strength because they disturb the order of the universe. When the aeonic force concentrations exceed the limits of the tolerable, the universe intervenes. Through cosmic fire, a cleansing process occurs. Giant fire processes purify the astral atmosphere and humanity is severed from the aeons. Our cultural progress, propelled and inspired by aeonic forces, turns into a downward movement. The stone we rolled uphill with great difficulty, passes the highest point and starts rolling downhill. Human culture, although necessary for our existence on earth, does not solve the problem of life.

The positive solution is when a person, or a group of people, becomes aware of the aeonic illusion, of the ring-no-further. This can be accomplished at any time; it does not depend on the collective reaching the twelfth eon. This person, based on his experience, becomes aware of the hopelessness of the aeonic path. He understands that all progress is simultaneously decline. He realizes that he must turn back his inner, personal aeonic clock. He seeks a way out of the circular courses and wants to sever the compelling aeonic driving forces within himself. This means neutralization of the ‘I’, for the I-consciousness with all its aspects is the result of the twelve aeonic hours. Now we have arrived at the ‘0’ located next to the ‘3’ in the pictorial number ‘130069’. This zero represents neutralization, severance, the undoing of the past. It is a movement that turns counterclockwise. It is the passage through the desert, the reversal of the twelve aeonic developments.


Can a person undo his own ‘I’? The I-consciousness can on its own, through experience, become aware of some aeonic aspects and neutralize them. Yet it cannot undo its own foundation, which was formed mainly by the first and second eons. The ‘I’ cannot conquer the ‘I’. How do we solve this impossible problem?

Mankind is never left without spiritual guidance, without help on our struggle through life. Only, it is not a kind of help which strengthens us in our I-central aspirations. Sometimes we feel desolate and abandoned because we want support for our personal goals. The Universe cannot support such pursuits, because they do not fit the big picture. However, when we long for liberation of the aeonic cycles, when our soul cries out in desperation, the Universe comes to our aid. Help appears to solve our impossible problem. All true kinds of help flow from the omnipresent spiritual center. When we become aware that this center also exists inside ourselves, we find the door to a new reality. Then we turn to the ‘13’, which is the crowning glory of our pictorial number.

How did Jesus the Christ, the thirteenth among the twelve, solve this problem? The mystery language of the ‘miraculous feeding’[2] gives us some clues. When Jesus saw the crowd that followed him, he said: “Let them sit down.”

We can interpret this symbolic representation as follows. Jesus sees before him the people who are looking for outcome, after all, they are following him. To them he says, ‘Stop running around in the aeonic cycles and sit down’. They follow his advice and now the thirteenth can provide them with supernatural food. Jesus has two fish and five loaves of bread. The two fish are the ‘6’ and the ‘9’, the earthly and the spiritual part of man. But now, through the experience of the desolation of the circular courses, the earthly fish is ready to recognize and follow the spiritual fish. The ‘6’ turns to the ‘9’; the crowd follows Jesus. In inner Christianity it means that we accept our spiritual inheritance; that we turn to the Christ principle within us.

The earthly person opens to the spiritual source at the center of his being and it starts raining manna in the desert. This manna comes from the five loaves. The number five is associated with the reborn human soul, symbolically represented by the pentagram. Four ethers build the human personality, but the fifth ether, also called the soul ether or the fire ether, is a spiritual revelation. It is a spiritual force that reveals itself in the earthly man as a new inspiration. This soul force breaks open the Borg cube and turns it into a cross. The image of the aeonic crystallization, the cube with its twelve ribs, undergoes a transformation. The twelve aeonic pillars no longer form the driving force of the human soul, but the rose that meets the cross. This is the symbolism of the blooming spiritual rose and the cross, of the Rosycross.

The formation of this new consciousness solves the impossible problem. The new soul-consciousness can replace the old I-consciousness. Under the condition that the ‘I’ surrenders to this new consciousness, the aeonic foundation of the personality, the I-consciousness and the instinct of possession, is overcome. Then we have become new.

That through soul-ether also the urge to possess disappears, is indicated by the twelve full baskets, which remain after the multitude has been fed. The soul ether comes from an omnipresent spiritual source: the Sevenfold Spirit or Holy Spirit. There is always an abundance of food: twelve full baskets. Then we have built the New Jerusalem, the holy city with the twelve gates where the spiritual Sun, the thirteenth, never sets.


[1] Chapter 24, The zodiac – a twelvefold prison

[2] Matthew 14:13-21

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Date: May 28, 2024
Author: Niels van Saane (Bulgaria)
Photo: by Milad Fakurian on Unsplash CCO

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