The cycle from one to three concerns the basic principles. These principles stem from the spiritual energy of the one, the Polarisation of the two into spirit and energy, and they en- able becoming conscious in the three.
With the four, a wholly new cycle begins that runs via the five to the six. What initially appeared as a spiritual structure of lines of force now becomes concrete and visible. It is manifested in the form.
The four is what materialised from the first triad, that is, what was created concretely.
Four is the Symbol of materialisation. It is the densification down to matter, down to material earth. The three, as the impulse-giving factor, is considered a masculine number; the four as the expression of the receiving, bearing factor, represents the feminine.
The four represents a new plane of manifestation. The step from the three to the four signifies the submersion of the soul into a deeper level of experience. It is the step from the newly attained, restored unity; it is becoming conscious of the meaning of life and of the Spirit that determines earthly life. However, this involves dangers, because the four is also a two to which a power, a potency, is added:
If the soul lets itself be guided by the spiritual order and if it shapes matter accordingly, a world of forms develops that expresses this spiritual order, the unity. However, if the soul lets itself be exclusively lead by the energy of the two,it loses the link with the one and will express itself in the world of forms as chaos, as a struggle of everyone against everyone.
Thus we can understand the meaning of “eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. The energy of the two gains power over the human being.
The task of the four is discovering and finding the laws and the life of the Spirit in the earthly domain again. This occurs, paradoxically, by more deeply turning towards the earth, not to perfect nature, which is impossible, but to begin to see the coherences. This causes awareness, which is the condition for the spiritual path that no one can walk for someone else. In order to accomplish this, the earthly human being is offered visible help in the form of symbols, messengers and signs. Where do we encounter the four in visible life?
- We encounter it in the four quarters, the great cross of the universe. The four seasons control the four quarters.
- In the four, we find the three dimensions of space, while the fourth dimension is time.
- We know the four “elements”: earth, water, air and fire.
- The equilateral quadrangle, the square, is the first geometric figure that can be divided into equally large parts in any way. To the Pythagoreans, the square was, therefore, also the symbol of justice.
- A three-dimensional structure can be viewed in four ways: as a number of points, lines, planes and volumes.
- With the four, corporality begins. To build a spatial body, we need four planes.
- Symbols of the four are also the cube and the right angle. If we open a cube, we see a cross, the symbol that has been known for over 10,000 years, not only in Christianity, but of old; the cross means being bound to matter. To liberate ourselves from this prison, the first condition is to recognise it as a prison and the next step is accepting the consequences: “taking the cross upon oneself”.
In Hebrew, the fourth letter of the alphabet is daleth, meaning something like door. In order to act on earth, according to the laws of matter, the door of the four must be passed. Nature, the sciences and any practical activity are based on the four.
At the same time, the four, the intersection of space and time, means the door to Salvation and true human genesis. The four is the number in which the divine is manifested, or rather, is able to manifest itself! Four is the number of the earth; it is the earthly plan. Reality is proof of the kind of life that expresses itself in form.
The four teaches us to accept and solve our daily tasks of life. It teaches us to understand that everything we encounter – however profane and unlikely it might be – contains a meaning that we can unveil, accept and accomplish.
If we found a firmer, more independent basis of life in the three, the four brings what had just been acquired immediately up for discussion by fully confronting it with life. With the two, we experience that all of life rests upon opposites; by the three, we learn to deal with it in a constructive way; in the four, we encounter – building on the preceding cycle from one to three – the deeper questions concerning the meaning, purpose and task of human life here on earth.
How does this work in our life?
We gain countless experiences of life in our visible world. We long for harmony and perfection, but somewhere on this path, we discover that nothing is lasting and everything is transient. Ultimately, we reach a border – and our heart understands! It becomes susceptible to the call of eternity. Questions about the original purpose of life crop up and the longing to find this purpose increases.
The five will answer this, because it implies that we are consciously linked with the Spirit again.
Pythagoras considered the four the ideal number, by which he referred to the cycle one-two-three-four that he called tetraktys. The four symbolises life in a visible form, in which the unity, the integrated duality and the Creative triad unceasingly work in the background. Life in this sense leads to a higher spiral of the one, namely the ten!
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10
Although an ideal state has been reached, if we can understand the four, we are usually far removed from it in our practical life. The influences on the basis of a too heavy emphasis on the duality in the surrounding world affect us in a compelling way. They polarise too much, they become independent, because they do not unite or dissolve in the one. We learn from the quality of the five why the human being finds himself between unity and division, and what opportunities this implies for him.