In the previous text, The Limit of Human Consciousness, we began to expose the correlations between the alchemical phases and the four main characters of the gospels (Herod, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Christ), and their Egyptian equivalents (Ptha, Ramses, Osiris, and Horus). We have seen that the alchemical process begins with the Birth of Light in Herod (or Ptha) and follows its development to the human limit in John (or Ramses). We will now see the unfolding of the process with Jesus (or Osiris) and its crowning with Christ (or Horus).
Jesus and Osiris: Spiritual Consciousness
In inner or esoteric symbolism, John and Jesus are not necessarily cousins. In fact, they are brothers, or almost twins, since they are born at the same time and the birth narrative is the same.
Both Zechariah and Elizabeth and Joseph and Mary represent the head and heart of the human being in different aspects. For John (the fully human consciousness) to be born, a principle of another order must also be born in this consciousness itself, which is the divine side of John, and which he does not yet see, for it is beyond his self, beyond the Jordan border. The other principle is Jesus.
That is why they meet – one coming from one shore and the other from the other shore. That is why there is “the Red Sea crossing”; “The world of the living and the dead” on the Nile; “The great search for what was beyond Finisterre” on the Camino de Santiago. When the universal principle, (the spark of the spirit, the lotus flower – so many names were given for it!) – when this seed becomes active and germinates, Johannine consciousness begins to search for the path of transcendence, the overcoming of the limit, until it finds it. And when it does, the gospel says: “John is beheaded.”
This beautiful symbol must be well understood, for it does not mean the death of John. It teaches us that the Johannine consciousness, represented by the head of John, the core of human consciousness, gives away the command (the head) to the new force, the principle that is in full growth within. Thus, the limit of the human consciousness is overcome by the union of the universal and the human, the spirit and the soul. A spiritual consciousness arises, a consciousness in which the force of the universe flows, not just as an impulse, not just as an impelling magnetic force, or an intuitive understanding, but as the force of the spirit that joins, organically, with the structure of consciousness – and so the process of transmutation begins.
This transmutation is represented, amongst many symbols, by the Hermes’ caduceus, which consists of two serpents that intertwine around a central rod, with a large winged circle on top, and a circle at the base, where everything rests.
This is the symbol of the Tree of Life and the new consciousness in man, because it represents our spine and all the energy centers that exist along it, as well as the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. When the rebirth of the consciousness occurs, it becomes, once again, the Tree of Life. That is why the new consciousness is associated with the symbol (not the historical figure) of Jesus (which represents the divine universal consciousness in John), and it is also associated with Osiris, who is the consciousness of Ramses – when he had already transcended the limits of human manifestation. That is the reason why the figure represents Ramses himself in the form of Osiris.
This brings us to the fourth and final alchemical phase.
Christ and Horus: the new human being
After the Nigredo, where a seed is planted in Herod or Ptha; after the Albedo, where consciousness arises and the candidate reaches the threshold of human consciousness in John or Ramses; and after the Peacock Tail, where he builds the bridge between the divine and the human with Jesus or Osiris; we have the last phase of alchemy, which is precisely the symbol of Christ or Horus – the symbol of fullness, of rebirth: it is the Rubedo, where the gold of the spirit is indissolubly united with form, with human blood, symbolically speaking.
|Awakening of the Consciousness (seed)||The Limit: Fully Consciousness||Spiritual Conciousness||New Human Being: Spirit, Consciousness and Body|
This new caduceus of Hermes, this new consciousness, necessarily transmutes all the garments of the soul: what we think, what we feel, what we perceive and what we do. But this transmutation goes beyond the level of consciousness and also touches the mental body, which is the true garment of our thoughts and the vehicle of thought manifestation; the astral body, which is the body of the individual emotional energy of the human being; the etheric body, responsible for all the vital energy that animates us; and also the material body, the physical basis of the Spirit.
That is why Christianity speaks of the “rebirth of the human being”. This rebirth comes from the union with the new principle – which transmutes its three aspects: spirit, soul (or consciousness) and body, represented in the gospels by the three-day interval between Christ’s death and resurrection.
Then, all the symbolism of Christianity, as well as all the traditions of the universal teaching, point to the same possibility, the same inner path of transmutation, which symbolically begins with the celebration of Christmas: it is the moment when the Seed of Light becomes active in the hearts of the earth and the human being. Such a seed must germinate, grow, flourish and become a new fruit, united with the human being itself.
This path, as we said, is the path of yesterday, today, and the future, since it deals with the inner reality that always manifests and will continue to manifest in human beings. The realization of this path – and not only the knowledge of it – is the goal of all spiritual schools of the past, and also of the spiritual school manifested in the present: The Golden Rosycross.
We hope that this trilogy of texts has brought elements of an inner reflection that confronts us with the true purpose of our existence: the Birth of Light within each one of us – our inner Christmas.