Friday, July 22, 2011

Pineal Gland, DMT, Vatican Secrets

The Cathedral of Cologne and the Stonemasons of Germany

BY the general consent of architectural writers, the Cathedral of Cologne has been admitted to be one of the most beautiful religious edifices in the world. It is considered to be a perfect type of the old Germanic or Gothic style of architecture, and it has been deemed a central point around which have gathered the most important historical and artistic researches on the subject of the architecture of the Middle Ages.
So high did it stand in contemporary estimation, and so much were its builders valued for the skill which they had displayed in its construction, that, as Boisseree tells, the Master Masons of Cologne were often sent for to superintend the building of many other churches. Thus the continuation of the steeple of the Cathedral of Strasburg was intrusted to John Hultz, of Cologne. Another John of Cologne, in 1369, built the two churches of Campen, on the shores of the Zuyder Zee; and he adopted as his plan that of the Cologne Cathedral. The Cathedrals of Prague and of Metz were built on the same plan. In 1442 the Bishop of Burgos imported into Spain two stonecutters of Cologne to complete the towers of his cathedral.
To this prominent poison of the cathedral and of its builders in the history of medieval architecture must we assign the equally prominent position which has been assumed for it in the traditions of modern Freemasonry. The fabrication of that very popular, but altogether supposititious document, known as the "Charter of Cologne," is to be attributed to the fact that at the date assigned to it the Masons of Cologne were considered as the chiefs of the craft, and there was some apparent plausibility in assigning to them the duty of convening a Grand Lodge, whose representatives were brought from every part of Europe.
The present Cathedral is the successor of two others. The first is said to have been founded by St Maternus, who was Bishop of Cologne in the 4th century. That edifice, if the account of it is not altogether traditional, and perhaps mythical, must have been constructed in the Roman method and by Roman artisans, for the city did not come under the control of the Franks until the 5th century.
The second Cathedral, the history of which is also very imperfect, is said to have been consecrated in the year 873. Of its having been burnt in 1248 there is no doubt. This edifice does not seem to have met the growing needs or the increasing pride and wealth of the church, for before its destruction by fire, Archbishop Conrad is said to have had plans prepared for the construction of a new one, which should surpass all existing churches in magnificence. And Archbishop Engelbert had designed to do the same thing twenty-five years before, but was prevented from carrying out his plan by his assassination in 1225. The second Cathedral was burnt in the year 1248, and the new one was begun the same year. Larousse and some other writers state that the work was commenced in 1249. But Boisseree, upon whose authority one may securely rely, says that the foundation-stone of the new edifice was laid on the eve of the feast of the Assumption, August 14, 1248, by Archbishop Conrad, in the presence of the Emperor, Frederick II., and a concourse of nobility and ecclesiastics of every grade.
The solemn ceremonies which accompanied this event have been described at length by the historian of the Cathedral, Sulpice Boisseree.
The foundation-stone was deposited in the spot which was destined for the high altar, and where was temporarily erected a wooden cross.
After the preparatory prayers and canticles the Archbishop proceeded, with the assistance of the architect and by means of a chisel and mallet, to engrave the figure of a cross on the four angles of the stone. In the interior of the stone, in an excavation made for the purpose, was deposited an account of the ceremony, some images of saints made in consecrated wax, some coins, and other objects which bore relation more or less to the epoch of time in which the stone was laid.
Afterward the Archbishop blessed the stone, sprinkled it with holy water, and then delivered it to the workmen, who lowered it into the pit which had been prepared for it.
The Archbishop then descended, accompanied by several attendants, and after spreading some mortar with a trowel over the face of the stone, gave it a blow with a hammer and placed a second stone upon the first. The Emperor, the Pope's legate, and several princes and nobles imitated the Archbishop, and the trowel and hammer passed from hand to hand until it came to the architect, while the choir chanted the 87th Psalm, beginning "His foundation is in the holy mountains." (1)
The work was continued until 1509. During that period, the labours were often suspended in consequence of the sanguinary contests which took place in the 13th and 14th centuries between the city and the archbishops. Hence at the beginning of the 10th century, only the choir and the surrounding chapels had been finished. In succeeding wars the building suffered much, and would at length have been pulled down had it not been for the active exertions of a Fleming, Gerhard de Saint Trond, who caused subscriptions to be made and the work was resumed.
The historical question, who was the architect that drew the plans and first presided over their execution has never been satisfactorily settled; while the fame of Erwin Von Steinback has been preserved as the architect of the rival Cathedral of Strasburg, the name of the surpassing artist who was the architect of that of Cologne has been, apparently, irrecoverably lost.
There is a legend in connection with this which if of no value historically, is of some interest as a romance.
The Archbishop had called upon the architects of Germany for plans for the construction of the Cathedral. Many were submitted, but none were satisfactory to the prelate, who rejected them all.
Among the rejected applicants was a young architect, who was so despondent at his want of success, that one day he repaired to the
(1) "Histoire et Description de la Cathedral de Cologne," p. 7. I have inserted this description to show how the spirit of symbolism was preserved in all things connected with the architecture of those medieval Masons, a heritage which they have bequeathed to their successors, the Speculative Freemasons. In the modern ritual for the laying of foundation-stones, it will be seen that some of the leading points have a very close resemblance to this Cologne ceremony.
banks of the Rhine and there meditated suicide. But before casting himself into the river, he tried, but in vain, to draw a new plan.
Suddenly the devil appeared before him as a venerable old gentleman, in black, and offered him a plan which he promised him should be accepted, but would not give it to the architect except in exchange for his soul.
The youth daring neither to accept nor to refuse the offer, asked for a day's consideration. To this Satan assented, and they agreed to meet again at the same place on the afternoon of the next day. In the interval the young architect consulted the Archbishop and the canons of the Chapter, and by their advice he repaired to the rendezvous at the appointed time.
The devil again showed the plan and renewed his offer of an exchange - the parchment with the plan inscribed, for the soul of an architect. The youth snatched the plan out of the devil's hand and placed it in his bosom beneath a relic of St. Ursula.
The devil, enraged, exclaimed: "This is a trick of the rascally priests; but mark me, the Cathedral, the plan of which you have stolen from me, shall never be finished, and your own name shall forever remain unknown."
In the struggle to get possession of the plan, the devil's claws had torn off a corner of the parchment, and thus mutilated the plan.
The young artist having attempted to invent something which should appropriately fill the missing part, and always, after many trials, failing to succeed, at length died of chagrin. His name has passed into oblivion, and the Cathedral, for six hundred years, remained unfinished.
The story of the unknown architect of Cologne and his unhappy fate, told in different way, has always been a favourite myth with the German poets. Thus Frederick Rickert:
"Der Maister, der's entwarf Baut es nicht aus, und starb; Niemand mocht' sich getraun, Seitdem ihn aufzubau'n, Den hohen Dom zu Koin."
The Master who designed the plan did not finish it but died; no one since has dared to build it up; the lofty Cathedral of Cologne.
There are but two names that have been proffered as claimants for the honour of being the architect of the Cathedral of Cologne - at least there are only two names whose apparent merits are such as to have secured any sort of consideration. These are the celebrated philosopher, Albertus Magnus, or Albert the Great, and a distinguished Mason known as Maitre Gerard.
Let us first dispose of the claims of the philosopher.
Albertus Magnus was born of an illustrious family at Laevingen in Swabia in the year 1193. At the age of sixteen he entered the Dominican Order, of which afterward he became the Provincial. Pope Alexander VI. appointed him Bishop of Ratisbon; but Albertus, having held the office for only three years, renounced the miter to reassume the cowl and retired to the convent of his Order in Cologne, and employed himself in giving public instructions in philosophy. He died in the year 1280 at the ripe age of eighty-seven.
Albertus's knowledge of the principles of natural science were so far in advance of the times in which he lived, and many of his experiments were of so extraordinary a nature that he obtained, in a credulous and ignorant age, the reputation of being a magician, and many wonderful stories were related of his power in the occult art.
Thus, for example, it was said that he had occupied thirty years in making an entire man of brass, which would answer all sorts of questions and would even perform domestic services. Another legend relates that on a certain occasion he invited William, Earl of Holland and King of the Romans, who was passing through Cologne, to a banquet in the open air. It was in the depth of winter, and the whole face of the earth was covered with snow. The king, however, was no sooner seated at table, than the snow disappeared, the temperature of the air rose to that of summer and the sun burst forth with dazzling splendour. The ground became covered with rich verdure, the trees were suddenly clothed with foliage, with flowers and with fruits; vines presented clusters of luscious grapes to the company. The table was loaded with dishes of exquisite food which was served by a train of gracefully dressed pages, who came, no one knew whence. But as soon as the feast was over, everything disappeared; all became wintry as before; the snow lay upon the ground, and the guests, chilled by the sudden change, gathered up the cloaks and mantles which they had previously thrown aside, and hurried to the fires in the apartments.
Such an extravagant legend shows what was the reputation of Albertus among his contemporaries, who did not hesitate to ascribe to him the possession of an almost illimitable amount of learning.
It is not surprising therefore that to him in the uncertainty of who was the real architect, should have been ascribed the honour of devising the plans of the Cathedral of Cologne, especially since the erection of that stupendous edifice was commenced during his residence in the city.
To him, too, has by some writers been ascribed the invention of the Gothic style of architecture, of which the Cathedral of Cologne was one of the earliest and most magnificent specimens.
Those who have believed that he invented the plans for the construction of the Cologne Cathedral, have founded their belief on the profound symbolism of the plan, and on the supposition that Albertus was, according to the views of Heidelof, (1) the one who restored the symbolic language of the ancients and applied it to the principles of architecture.
But this seems to be but the exchanging of one conjectural hypothesis for another. It would be as difficult to prove that Albertus was the discoverer of the principles of symbolic architecture, which certainly does constitute, or at least among the medieval Masons did constitute the distinguishing element of their style, as it would be to prove that he was the deviser of the plans for the construction of the cathedral.
If either of these hypotheses were satisfactorily proved, it would give much plausibility to the other, but, unfortunately, the required proof is wanting.
Hence Boisseree, who has carefully discussed the question, refuses to adopt the opinion which attributes the plan of the Cathedral to Albertus. (2) He does not believe that ecclesiastics alone were the possessors of symbolic ideas, but he is sure that an architect only could give expression to those ideas.
He therefore supposes that the plans of the Cathedral must have been devised by an architect. But Albertus Magnus, though justly
(1) In his "Bauhutte des Mittelalters," quoted by Findel. (2) "Histoire et Descrip. de la Cathedral de Cologne," p. 12.
venerated for his vast erudition, never practiced architecture, and could not therefore have made the plans or superintended their execution.
The other person to whom has been ascribed the honour of being the architect of the Cathedral of Cologne is one Maitre Gerard, or Master Gerard.
"Historians," says Boisseree, "are silent concerning this Gerard, as they are concerning all other architects of the Cathedral. I, however, consider him as being the first of them and consequently as the author of the admirable plan which is not less bold than it is ingenious. If the plan had been furnished by another architect, we must suppose hat he died at the very beginning of the work, and this we have no reason for believing.
"There is still less reason for supposing that the plan was the production of some man of genius, versed in the knowledge of the art but not himself a professional architect; for the plan of an edifice so immense, of a composition so rich and bold, calculated with so much wisdom in its minutest details and with such a due regard to the execution, could have been invented only by an artist who, to great experience, added the most exact knowledge of all technical methods and the certainty of being able to realize in practice his happy conceptions." (1)
Hence it is that he declines to attribute the position of first architect of the Cathedral to Albertus Magnus, and assigns it to Master Gerard.
In the volume of the proces verbaux, or reports of cases of the Senate of Cologne, commenced in 1396, there is a list of the founders and benefactors of the Hospital of St. Ursule at Cologne, the name of Master Gerard is found and he is there described as the Werk-Neister von Dom, or "Master of the Work of the Cathedral" (2)
The Livre Copial of the Chapter of Cologne is preserved, says Boisseree, in the archives of the city of Darmstadt. On page 92 of this book is a copy of a charter in which the Chapter grants to Master Gerard a spot of ground on which he had erected at his own expense a house built of stone, in consideration of the services performed by him.
(1) Boisseree, ut supra, p. 10. (2) Ibid., p.12
In this charter he is styled "a stonecutter, the director of our Cathedral." (1)
As the date of the charter is 1257, which is only eight years after the commencement of the Cathedral, it is, as Boisseree has maintained, not probable that there had been an earlier architect who had died or been dismissed. And as the charter distinctly calls him a lapicida, a "stonecutter," and designates him as the rector fabricae, "the director, or ruler of the Cathedral," I think the question may be considered as settled that Gerard was the name of the first architect of the Cathedral of Cologne and that he was a Mason by profession.
As to the influence which this building and the artists, engaged in its construction had upon the organization of the fraternity of Stonemasons of Germany, historical records are silent, and we are left mainly to conjecture.
It is said by Winzer that Albertus Magnus altered the constitution of the Fraternity and gave them a new code of laws. But as at the same time, and almost in the same passage, he ascribes to the same person the deigning of the plans for the Cathedral, we may be inclined to give no more credit to the one assertion than we do to the other.
But as the Cathedral is one of the grandest and most elaborate of all the works of Gothic architecture, and as that style was, it is admitted, the invention of the Freemasons of the Middle Ages, we arrive at the legitimate conclusion that the workmen who were members of that Fraternity, which came into Germany about the 10th century from Italy, but of the nature of whose organization, of the customs they practiced, and of the laws which they adopted for their government we have no documentary evidence, until the 15th century, when we find the ordinances of the Stonecutters adopted at Strasburg in the year 1459.
We have documentary evidence of the existence of guilds in Germany before the middle of the 12th century. "At that time," says Mr. Fergusson, "all trades and professions were organized in the same manner, and the guild of Masons differed in no essential
(1) Magistro Gerardo, lapicede (says the charter), rectori fabrice nostre, propter meritoriae obsequia nobis facta, unam aream latiorem et majorem aliis prout ubi jacet, et comprehendit magnam domum lapideam, quam idem Magister Gerardus propriis edificavit sumptibus, duximus concedendam, etc.
particulars from those of the shoemakers or hatters, the tailors or vintners, all had their Masters and Past Masters, their Wardens and other officers, and were recruited from a body of apprentices who were forced to undergo years of probationary servitude before they were admitted to practice their art." (1)
There is no doubt that this statement is substantially correct, although there were some important differences between the guilds of Masons and those of other crafts, to one of which (the nomadic character of the former) he subsequently alludes.
We have a right, therefore, to conclude that at Cologne, during the construction of the Cathedral, the Freemasons who were engaged in that labour were already organized as a corporation and had their regulations, usages, and laws, though they have not been preserved to us in a written form.
But as it has been observed by a writer on this subject, (2) we have no reason to doubt the existence of such associations even before the 12th century, because we have no positive documentary evidence of the fact in the transmission of written constitutions; because it was not until they had succeeded in obtaining formal recognition, and when they were desirous of obtaining some special privilege that the necessity of a written Constitution was felt, so as to give it, as it were, a superior sanction.
Hence, though the Cathedrals of Cologne and Strasburg and some others of less graiadeux were begun in the 12th century, the earliest extant written Constitution is that of Strasburg, whose date is about the middle of the 15th century.
Whether these Statutes of the Strasburg Masons were enacted for the first time in 1459, which is wholly improbable, or whether they were only confirmations of other regulations, are questions which will be mooted in a subsequent chapter.
This much, however, I think has been determined as historically plausible, even if not historically demonstrable.
The most important essay of the Freemasons of Germany as a corporate guild, in the development of their peculiar style of architectural symbolism, was the Cathedral of Cologne. This fabric must then at that time have been the central point of German
(1) "History of Architecture in all Countries," vol. i., p. 2. B. II., chap. viii., p. 477 (2) Winzer, "German Brotherhoods of the Middle Ages," quoted by Findel, " History," p. 57.
medieval Masonry. Nineteen years afterward the Cathedral of Strasburg was begun. Then it is probable that the jurisdiction was divided and both Cologne and Strasburg became the separate centers in Lower and in Upper Germany whence other bauhutten, guilds or lodges emanated.
In time, however, probably from the suspension of the labours on the Cologne Cathedral in 1509, that Cathedral was shorn of its importance as a Masonic head, (1) and the power and jurisdiction of the Fraternity was concentrated in the Haupt-Hutte or Grand Lodge of Strasburg, which in 1549 modified the old regulations and preserved them in the form of a written Constitution which has been handed down to the present day.
(1) This decadence of Cologne as a Masonic power affords another argument against the genuineness of the Charter said to have been issued in 1535.

The Concept of the Djed Symbol

One of the most enigmatic symbols of Ancient Egypt is the Tet, or  Djed. Although it was widely used as a religious icon throughout much of the history and geography of Ancient Egypt, it is still not clearly understood what the Djed was originally conceived to represent. Determining its meaning from its appearance alone is not an easy task so we shall take some of the suggested definitions and analyse each individually. But first of all lets look at the key elements that make up the symbol.
Typical Distinctive Features:
    • Four horizontal bars surmounting a vertical shaft
    • Vertical striations between each bar
    • These striations are shown in profile on the sides of the Djed creating a curved appearance
    • Four bands around neck of the shaft
    • Sometimes a small capital can be seen surmounting the Djed
    • The Djed often stands on a rectangular base
Raymond Faulkner sees the Djed as 'a cult object resembling a tree trunk with lopped-off horizontal branches, sacred to Osiris, Ptah and Sokar'1 He interprets the meaning of its use hieroglyphically as 'stable', 'enduring'.

Alan Gardiner suggests that it represents 'a column imitating a bundle of stalks tied together' 2 Yet he describes this hieroglyph: F41, the top section of the Djed, 3 as 'vertebrae conventionally depicted'. 4 It is used in the word pesed, meaning 'back', as in 'spine'. 5

According to Wallis Budge, the Djed is the oldest symbol of Osiris, and symbolizes his backbone and his body in general.  He states that originally Osiris was probably represented by the Djed alone, and that he had no other form.  He regards the Djed hieroglyph as a conventional representation of a part of his spinal column and gives its meaning as "to be stable, to be permanent, abiding, established firmly, enduring.6

Scenes depicting the 'Raising of the Djed' ceremony
The reconstruction of the body of Osiris occurred at a place called Djedu,in the Delta region of Lower Egypt and it was here that the yearly ceremony of 'Raising the Djed Pillar' took place on the last day of the month of Khoiak, the eve of the agricultural New Year. The next day marked the beginning of the four month long season of Pert, or 'Going Forth' during which the lands rose out of the flood waters allowing the fields to be sown.Djedu was also referred to as Per-Asar-Neb-Djedu, meaning "The House of Osiris - the Lord of Djedu".  The Greeks called it Busiris, after the shortened title Per-Asar - "The House of Osiris"

Mythologically, the 'Raising of the Djed' symbolised the resurrection of Osiris, and with its annual re-enactment represented the death and renewal of the yearly cycle.  Osiris is referred to as "Lord of the Year" in the Pyramid Texts 7 and that he was also the god of agriculture meant that his annual resurrection ensured the stability of the abundance of the next season's crops. 8

A Tree:

From the descriptions above it can be understood that the general concept of the Djed symbol appears to be a combination of the backbone of Osiris, a column or pillar, and the trunk of a tree.  The Legend of Osiris as told by Plutarch reinforces this interpretation. The story involves the murder of Osiris in which his body is trapped inside a chest and becomes enclosed in a huge tree at Byblos.  The trunk of this tree containing the body of Osiris is then cut down and turned into a pillar for the house of the King. This pillar is referred to by the Djed hieroglyph and the branches of this magnificent tree were said to have been turned to the four cardinal points.

Osiris-Seker entombed inside the trunk of a tree

The rituals and spells described in the archaic Pyramid Texts are most likely the source of this later legend related by Plutarch.  Without including the occasions when expressed as a title prefixed to the King's cartouche, the god Osiris is mentioned in over 170 different utterances or spells in the Pyramid Texts.  Utterances such as 478, 482, 532, and 535, for example tell of Isis searching for the body of Osiris, while utterance 364 describes the gathering together of the body parts by Nephthys leading to his resurrection.  In utterance 532 Osiris is struck down by Seth.  The body of Osiris becomes enclosed in the trunk of a tree and is associated with the Djed pillar in utterance 574.

Much later, the detail was added that the tree enclosing of the body of Osiris was located at Byblos. This probably refers to the tradition related in the Hymn to Osiris, dating from the Middle Kingdom, of sending sailing expeditions to Byblos to obtain trees from which to make coffins.10

The Backbone of Osiris:

Chapter 155 of the Book of the Dead associates the Djed with the backbone and vertebrae of Osiris.  Budge states that the oldest form of his spinal column was probably represented by part of the back bone with portions of the ribs attached to it.  He suggests that as time went on it was drawn on a stand with a broadened base to form what we see as the Djed. 11 Even when pictured without the ribs attached, four vertebrae supported by a stand take on the appearance of the Djed:
F41 on a stand
Hieroglyph of the spine placed
on a stand to form the Djed symbol

Four vertebrae pictured
surmounting a stand

Looking at images of the backbone, a likeness to the Djed symbol can be observed:

In the two examples above, the upper four vertebrae have been left as is, while the lower four vertebrae forming the stand have had their transverse processes 'trimmed' to form a straight shaft.  The spine on the right, with its central vertical ridge looks very much like the Djed depicted below:

In utterance 321 of the Pyramid Texts the King ascends to the sky with Re on the backbone of Osiris.  An Old Kingdom variant of the determinative hieroglyph in this word 'backbone' is F41, which is the top part of the Djed Pillar: F41

A Pillar:

Most of the Djeds found in later tombs have been flat objects, usually no thicker than a quarter of its width, these flat representations of the Djed probably being derived from the hieroglyphic renditions.  But in these two ivory Djeds from the First Dynasty pictured below, we see that the Djed was originally more of a round pillar than a flat object.  Being such old pieces, they give us valuable insight into the original design and therefore the original function of the Djed before it became a flat icon.

Two ivory Djed pillars found in a
First Dynasty tomb at Helwan.
(photograph taken by J.D.Degreef)

The ancient Egyptians divided the sky into two parts in very early times, with the Eastern end resting on the 'Mountain of Sunrise' and the Western end on the 'Mountain of Sunset'.  Later a division into four parts was made and the four corners of heaven were protected by four gods.12

Heaven is described in the Pyramid Texts as resting on the staffs of these four gods 13 indicating that the quartering of heaven occurred at a very early time, before the Pyramid Texts were written.

"O you four gods who stand at the supports of the sky,
my father Osiris the King has not died in death,
for my father Osiris the King possesses a spirit in the Horizon"
- PT 556.

The Four Pillars of Heaven were personified as these four gods known also the Four Sons of Horus, who support the four corners of the sky with their sceptres.  Here we have another instance in which the pillar is combined with the human form.

M13 In Wallis Budge's Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary is the word spelled with a single papyrus stem, which has the meaning not only of "youthful" and a type of "sceptre", but also "... pillar, support, column". 14
M13 on a base The same word, wadj (w3d) composed of the single hieroglyph only with the addition of a base is interpreted by Raymond Faulkner as meaning "papyriform column".14b

In utterance 217 of the Pyramid Texts this hieroglyph is used to denote four pillars by following it with the number four:

"O Re-Atum, this King comes to you,
an Imperishable Spirit, Lord of the affairs of the place of the Four Pillars"

 "Four Pillars"

Another way of writing the word 'Four Pillars' is by placing the four pillar hieroglyphs in a row:

The mention of the place of the 'Four Pillars' is a reference to Heaven, which the Ancient Egyptians believed to rest on these four pillars.  The columns supporting the roofs of temples were often shaped like papyrus stems, hence the hieroglyphic writing of the word "pillar".

Papyriform pillar

Four Pillars

Another way of depicting 'Four Pillars' would be to put one behind the other with each sticking up a bit above the one in front so that it can be seen:

Four pillars combined
and topped with capitol

A Typical Djed

This method of describing 'Four Pillars', one behind the other in typical ancient Egyptian artistic style, creates an image that looks remarkably like the Djed symbol.  In the following two scenes from the Temple of Hathor at Denderah, the four papyrifrom pillars on either side of the funeral bier in the first picture are exchanged with Djed pillars in the next:

Horus presenting Osiris with a flower.  Under the bier are the four crowns of Osiris.
Note also the four hawks perched on top of the lotus's.

Mariette, Denderah, IV, 65.

A similar scene only with Isis at the head instead of Horus.  Osiris-Djed in Djedu stands to the right.
Note that the four papyrus stems on either side of the bier in the previous picture
have been exchanged with Djed pillars in this picture.

Mariette, Denderah, IV, 71.

At the coronation of the new Horus-King, four birds each bearing the name and head of the one of the Four Sons of Horus were released towards the four directions marked by the four pillars of Heaven. 15

The Four Sons of Horus:

When the four pillars are combined they form the Djed pillar, a symbol synonymous with the body of Osiris.  Another way in which these gods were related to the body of Osiris is through their association with his four bodily organs.  These were removed from the body during mummification, individually embalmed and placed inside jars, then reunited inside a funerary box and entombed with the body. 16 Inside the tomb of Horemheb in the Valley of the Kings, his canopic chest containing the four organs was placed in a small room, featuring a life sized image of the Djed pictured together with Osiris.  The Four Sons of Horus are again related to his body by them featuring on the four sides of his sarcophagus together with their protective goddesses, Isis, Nephthys, Serqet, and Neit much like the canopic chest of Tutankhamun pictured below.

The Four alabaster canopic jars of Tutankhamun
(photograph courtesy of Jon Bodsworth of Gizaview)

Although they are usually described as standing at the four corners of Heaven, in a number of instances the gods of the four supports of the sky are combined and positioned at the eastern horizon to take part in the resurrection of the dead king 17 with the rebirth of the new sun.

..."he (Re) commends to me these four children who sit on the east side of the sky"
- PT 507.

The word for pillar, wadj, also means "raw", "make flourish", 18 and "to be young and new", "youthful" 19 and therefore fits in a general sense with the Four Sons as they are the young children of Horus who aid in the rejuvenation of the King.  They are sometimes represented as sprouting from the top of a lotus, which, like the papyrus, symbolized new life as in the vignette from chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead:

The 'Four Sons' personified and combined
atop an open lotus in front of Osiris 

After having passed through the night sky in utterance 334 of the Pyramid Texts, the King grasps the tail of the sun-god Re and after claiming to be the son of a god, declares that he is a flower rising from the waters of the Nile. In utterance 512 the King is given Four jars full of provisions and is purified on top of the lotus flower describing a scene not unlike the one depicted in the vignette above:
"Raise yourself, my father, receive these your Four pleasant provisions-jars20
bathe in the Jackal Lake,
be cleansed in the Lake of the Netherworld, 
be purified on top of your lotus-flower in the Field of Rushes...
Raise yourself, go in your spirit-state."
-PT 512.

The Four Sons of Horus also provide the deceased with food and drink that will sustain him in the afterlife as evidenced in utterance 338 of the Pyramid Texts:

Hapy, Duamutef, Kebhsenuf, and Imsety will expel this hunger
which is in my belly and this thirst which is on my lips.
- PT 338

Perhaps the four canopic jars in which the bodily organs were placed were originally intended to represent these four jars of provisions that are mentioned in the texts.  In life, these four organs process the air, food and drink and convert it into the energy that can be assimilated by the body, the generators of 'Life-Force' as it were.  It may be interesting to note a similar belief amongst the Taoists of ancient China where four containers are mentally constructed around the navel, into which the energies generated by the organs are collected.  The contents of these four containers are combined to form a ball of energy that is then circulated through the body in what is referred to as the "Microcosmic Orbit". 21

In death, however, the Ancient Egyptians put these organs inside jars, perhaps to simulate the absorption of the provisions by the organs thereby providing sustenance for the King in the afterlife.  Like the ancient Chinese, the Egyptians associated the characteristics of each of the organs both with young children and with different animals. These four 'sons' of Horus may be viewed in this regard as being the four elements that together form the soul, the hawk being the symbol of both the god Horus and at one time the soul, or ba. 22

In utterances 544, 545, 670 and 688 of the Pyramid Texts, the Four Sons of Horus lift the king into the sky to be reborn.  The same four youths are also responsible for binding together the reed boats on which the Sun god Re goes to the horizon in utterance 519, and in 522 they bring the boat built by the Ram-god Khnum.


The backbone of Osiris was found at a place called Djedet, the Greek Mendes, 23 a well-established site of importance in the Delta during the Early Dynastic period. 24 The god of the city was the sacred ram called Ba-Neb-Djed, meaning 'Ram, Lord of the Djed', though sometimes he was called 'Ram with four heads upon on neck' relating to a legend in which he unites within himself the souls of Re, Osiris, Shu, and Kheper. 25 The god was worshipped as a form of Khnum and was also identified with Osiris. 26 A local form of Osiris was made by merging with the Ram as 'Osiris the Ram, Lord of Djedu'. 27

Osiris the Ram, Lord of Djedu

The Soul of Osiris incarnate as a Ram

The Djed is occasionally depicted surmounted by Ram horns, thereby associating it with the Ram of Mendes in the form of Ba-Neb-Djedu.28 The Rams horns are a common feature on the crown of Osiris and at times he is described as being two horned, tall of crown and of having great presence in Djedu.29 

Osiris-Djed crowned with the two horns of the Ram
The Djed has been said to represent the support of the sky, the pillar of cosmic stability. Khnum is often pictured holding up the arms of Shu helping him to support the body of the sky goddess, Nut. Sometimes he even replaces Shu, in his role of the Khnum supporter of Heaven and at times he was referred to as the "raiser up of heaven upon its four pillars and supporter of the same in the firmament".30 In this capacity he is depicted as the Djed with arms upheld supporting the sky as pictured on the right. 31  In a hymn inscribed on the walls of the temple of Esna, Khnum is called "The prop of heaven who hath spread out the same with his hands" 32 and in the Pyramid Texts, Khnum is referred to as a "Pillar of the Great Mansion."33 In utterance 586 of the Pyramid Texts Khnum makes a ladder for the king to use to ascend to the sky.  The word for 'ladder' in this case, however, is spelled with the symbol for 'ribs'34.  This would seem to be alluding once again to the backbone of Osiris, upon which, the King ascends to the sky with the sun god Re in utterance 321 of the same texts.  The Old Kingdom variant of the determinative hieroglyph in this word 'backbone' is F41, the top part of the Djed Pillar: F41

The Djed is frequently used to symbolize the Sun in its rising, and like the Djed, is a commonly used metaphor for the rebirth of the King's soul.  In chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead, the soul of Osiris finds the soul of Re in Djedu:
"He found the soul of Re there, and they embraced each other"
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The ba of Re and the ba of Osiris meet and embrace in Djedu
This notion of the King finding the soul of Re in Djedu was developed at a much earlier time and it is described in the Pyramid Texts where it is written:
"O you of Djedu, O Djed pillar which is in the 'Place Where his Soul is Found',35
...the King finds you seated on the 'Tower of the Mummified Body'36on which the gods sit; 
the owners of doubles are bound for him..."
- PT 410

"...he commends me to these four children who sit on the east side of the sky,
these four black haired children who sit in the shade of
the 'Tower of the Mummified body'."
- PT 507

"I have gone up by means of the staff which is in the 'Place Where his Soul is Found'
I have gone up upon the ladder with my foot on Orion and my arm uplifted..."
- PT 625

The first quote above is from utterance 410 of the Pyramid Texts and shows that 'you of Djedu', a title of Osiris, 37 and the Djed pillar itself are situated in a mythological place called the 'place where his soul is found'. 38  Then in utterance 625 the Djed pillar in the 'place where his soul is found' is referred to as a "staff" by means of which the deceased "goes up", presumably referring to the staffs of the Four Sons of Horus combined in the east which help lift the King into heaven.

Returning to utterance 410, the King finds Osiris seated "...on the 'Tower of the Mummified body', which is associated with the Four Sons of Horus on the east side of the sky in utterance 507.

The object of mummification was not so much the preservation of the body as it had been during life, but the transfiguration of the corpse into a new body 'filled with magic', a simulacrum or statue in wrappings and resin. 39 The King's ba could not be released from his body unless the corpse was made 'firm', 'established', 'stable', 'enduring', 'whole', 'sound',40 in other words, made Djed-like.  The 'Tower of the Mummified body' is therefore an accurate description of the function and meaning of the Djed pillar and is reminiscent of the imagery evoked by the Legend of Osiris, in particular, the body of the dead Osiris-King becoming enclosed inside a huge pillar.

This connection of the 'Tower of the Mummified body', with the Djed Pillar, Osiris, his soul, and the Four Sons of Horus in the east with their staff(s), reinforces a number of the interpretations of the Djed symbol that have been suggested in this article.

Furthermore, it brings us to the fascinating subject of iconic symbolism in religious and funerary architecture.

Pyramid of Man

The pyramid belonging to a king named Khnum-Khufu has a chamber system resembling the image of a mummified body crowned with the top part of the Djed pillar, much like the figures of Osiris-Djed pictured above.  The name Khnum-Khufu, meaning 'Khnum protects me', is reflected in the design of his pyramid, which may be likened to the image of Khnum as the Djed with his arms upraised, one to the north, the other to the south.

In the texts relating to the deification of the members, the deceased's hands are said to be those of the Ram god Ba-Neb-Djed, and his fingers associated with the constellation of Orion in the southern sky. 41
"The Netherworld has grasped your hand at the place where Orion is, 
the Bull of the Sky has given you his hand....."
- PT 437
"May a stairway to the Netherworld be set up for you to the place where Orion is, 
may the Bull of the Sky take your hand..."
PT - 610

"May Orion give me his hand..."
PT - 582

The presence of the unique 'air-shafts' in the Khufu's pyramid has been and still is a topic of much discussion.  A number of Egyptologists have in the past expressed the possibility that these inaptly named 'air-shafts' were actually intended as release passages for the soul of the King entombed within the chamber that they emanate from.  In 1964 Egyptologist Dr Alexander Badawy, with the help of Virginia Trimble, realised that Orion was most likely the target of the burial chamber's southern shaft during the time of Khufu, which he deduced was designed to help the soul of the dead King rise up to his dwelling place in Orion as mentioned in the Pyramid Texts. 42

Flinders Petrie had previously observed the southern shaft's alignment with the Midday Sun on the 2nd of November, a date that may even correlate with the Raising of the Djed ceremonies on the last day of Khoiak during the reign of Khufu, about four and a half thousand years ago.43

Such an alignment would have allowed the soul of Re to enter the Djed-shaped tomb, thereby fulfilling the textual declaration of the soul of Osiris and the soul of Re meeting in Djedu.44

The notion of the Djed inside the pyramid of Khnum-Khufu can be explored further at my website by clicking on the banner below.   The site looks at the architectural metaphors formed by the innovative arrangement of the chambers inside the Great Pyramid following the theory proposed by James Allen and supported by other Egyptologists such as Jean Leclant and Mark Lehner, that the substructure of the Old Kingdom pyramids were designed to correspond to the geography of the Duat.

The Two Pillars

The two pillars can be found in the symbolic traditions of many religious traditions and esoteric
Orders. Their meaning relates to the duty of the Initiate to bring Harmony into both his own personality
and in the world, and relates to the manifestation of universal consciousness in a myriad of material
forms. This essay attempts to describe the origin and historical usage of the symbol of the two pillars
and to elaborate upon its meaning.
According to the Book of Kings, and recorded by Flavius Josephus in “The Antiquities of the Jews”
(written in 79 AD), in about 969 BC, Solomon, King of Judeah, decided to build a Temple to house the
Ark of the Covenant. At this time the Hebrews were nomads living in tents, while neighboring Tyre
had been a rich and prosperous city for over two centuries. Recognizing the Tyrians’ advancement in
architecture and the other arts, Solomon appealed to their greater talents to build his temple. When the
temple was built the Hebrews ceased their wanderings and became permanently established. As a
memorial of this fact, they included in the design of the temple the two pillars, a symbol used by the
Tyrians and many other nations descended from ancient Aryan stock, to represent the divine leadership
that led them out of enslavement in Egypt and to their new and permanent home. According to biblical
account (Exodus 13:21-22), “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them
the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. He took not away
the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”
Hiram, the architect sent by King Hiram of Tyre, cast a pair of hollow bronze pillars that stood on the
outer portico of Solomon’s temple, one finished in silver and the other in gold and studded with
emeralds. Standing in the north, the pillar of silver represented the pillar of smoke and was called
Boaz, which signifies strength. Standing in the south, the pillar of gold and emeralds represented the
pillar of fire and was called Jachin, which signifies establishment. The manifestation of the deity in
Hebrew history as a pillar of clouds and a pillar of fire points to the origin of the two pillars in the
earliest recorded Aryan conceptions of the divine presence.
The ancient Aryans were not at a stage of intellectual development where they could entertain the idea
of an abstract principle as the one universal law, or of any god except a visible one. To them it seemed
impossible that there could be a spiritual essence without some material form. Therefore they used fire,
the most inexplicable and striking of the agencies of nature, to represent the Divine; and the sun, the
grandest and most brilliant mass of fire, was to them the embodiment of the deity. In the Vedas, written
by these ancient people, the clouds were spoken of as attending the rising and setting of the sun. Thus,
the Hebrew symbol of a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night refers to the same natural objects –
clouds and fire – that were symbols of the presence of the deity to the earlier Aryans.
The idea of using two pillars to symbolize the presence of the deity was not exclusive with the
Hebrews. The Spartans also used this symbol and may have borrowed it from the Phoenicians in Tyre
or derived it from the same original source. In Sparta the two pillars were said to represent the twin
Dioscuri, and were sometimes joined by a smaller horizontal bar to represent their twinship. Tradition
relates that Pollux, whose twin brother Castor was killed, was inconsolable over his loss and asked
Jove to let him give his own life for that of his brother. To this Jove consented to allow the two
brothers to each pass alternate days under the earth. In “The History of Two Pillars” W. L. Fawcette
theorizes that the Dioscuri are identical to the two Asvins of the Vedas, the shining mares that draw the
chariot of the sun-god Indra on its daily course through the heavens. The Dioscuri are always
represented as clad in shining armor and mounted on snow-white steeds, the same chief characteristics
of the Asvins. In the Vedas, the clouds attend the sun and are represented as horses, cattle, or beings in
human form. Therefore, the Asvins and the Dioscuri represent in two different traditions the clouds that
accompany the Divine presence.
Heracles was also equated with the pillars by the Greeks. Legend tells that Heracles (Roman Hercules),
after traversing various countries during his twelve labors, raised two mountains in Spain and Africa as
monuments of his progress. According to another account, Hercules had little time to climb a high
mountain, so he split it into two halves, forming the straights of Gibraltar and opening the
Mediterranean Seas to the Atlantic Ocean. Ceuta, the mountain in the south, is covered by evergreen
bushes which flower yellow each spring, presenting the impression of the fiery pillar. Gibraltar in the
north is a grey limestone monolith, which is covered for much of the year by a cloud gathered from the
east wind, thus representing the pillar of clouds. In the East is the familiar Mediterranean Sea, and in
the West the unknown mystery of the vast Atlantic Ocean.
Heracles was equated with the Phoenician god Melqart, and the Pillars of Hercules were earlier
referred to as the Pillars of Melqart. Melqart, son of El, Ruler of the Universe, was worshipped at the
temple erected in his name at Tyre. One of the features of the temple was a pair of pillars, described by
the Greek Herodotus as one of pure gold and the other of emeralds which shone brilliantly at night. To
the Tyrians the pillars were a symbol of one deity, and they stood at either side of the entrance to the
temple, into which only the High Priests could pass through doors of bronze. Similarly, the Holy of
Holies, which was to the west of the two pillars of Solomon’s Temple, was a secret and sacred place
that could be entered by only one High Priest in each generation. It is theorized by William Serfaty in
“The Pillars of the Phoenicians” that ancient sailors who were familiar with this symbol would have
recognized in the pillars of Ceuta and Gibraltar a religious prohibition from passing between them into
the west. This would have been a way for the Phoenicians to prevent others from passing through the
straights of Gibraltar, thus ensuring the secrecy of their source of security and military power: the tin
mines of the Atlantic European coasts that enabled them to create weapons and armor of bronze.
In Scandinavia the pillars were a symbol of the god Thor and were a prominent feature of his temple,
and the setting up of two high wooden posts was a sign of establishment of the household on that spot.
The Germanic race, of which the Northmen were a branch, had its origin in the center of Asia near the
Caspian Sea, from which source they had derived the same tradition as the Syrians and Greeks. The
similarity in the cosmogony of the Greeks and the Northmen supports this idea of a common origin.
With this in mind, the Pillars of Thor and the Pillars of Hercules can be regarded as independent
perpetuations of the same symbol. The facts that the two pillars were a sacred symbol in these ancient
and contemporaneous religions, and that they occupied the same position and significance in the
temples of Thor, Melquart, Heracles, and Jehovah, help to confirm the theory of a common source of
the mythology and ideas of these and later faiths.
The two pillars are often depicted in esoteric symbolism as an entry to hidden knowledge that permits
the balance between opposite forces. This idea of an entry between the two columns leading to
knowledge is represented in the Tarot, in which the second of the numbered cards in the Major
Arcanum depicts the High Priestess. Shown sitting between two pillars or columns, one white and one
black, she represents the sum of esoteric knowledge, the balance between extremes, and the creative
force in manifestation. The black column represents the negative life force, and the white column
represents the positive life force. Between the columns is a veil covering the hidden world of wisdom.
The veil is usually decorated with palms (the male element) and pomegranates (the female element),
which represent the reproductive force in the subconscious that allows ideas to be made manifest.
In Masonic symbolism the pillars stand on either side of the entrance to the Masonic lodge and
represent the pillars of Solomon’s Temple. The pillar of Joachim represents the solar, masculine,
active, positive, expansive principle of light; the pillar of Boaz represents the lunar, female, passive,
negative, containing principle of darkness. The idea of duality is also represented by the different
architectural styles of the pillars, the pillar representing Joachim being Doric, and the pillar
representing Boaz being Corinthian. A third, Ionic, pillar depicted between the other two symbolizes
the balanced, conscious, coordinating principle that keeps them in dynamic equilibrium. The diagram
of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life is often placed against the backdrop of three pillars, with the outer two
representing the polarization of all manifestation, and the central pillar representing the path of
knowledge and ascension that leads to the source of all manifestation.
W. Kirk MacNulty, in Freemasonry: A Journey through Ritual and Symbol, provides an interpretation
of the two pillars that relates to the essence of the psyche. The pillars are said to be made of brass and
cast in the clay ground – characteristics that relate them to the physical world. They are also said to be
hollow and to contain the archives of the Order. Thus, the pillars represent the archival record of the
memory, which is stored in the personal unconscious and relates to events in the physical world.
MacNulty suggests that the duality of the pillars represents the idea that memories which constrain and
inhibit are found in one place, while those which enliven and move to action are found in another. He
The memories such as those stored in the two columns…have a profound, though unconscious,
effect on individuals and society alike. At the individual level they compel and circumscribe a
person’s behaviour, while at the social level they define the society’s concepts of morality.
Circumscribed behaviour of this sort is useful (even essential) to enable an individual to fit into
a family and its immediate social circle, particularly during childhood; but adult behavior
which is thus circumscribed is often unrewarding, frequently unproductive, and sometimes
actually harmful. Likewise, social groups which have defined their morality in this way have,
throughout history, generally found themselves in serious conflicts with other similar groups,
conflicts which have generally led to much grief and bloodshed.
Thus the path between the two pillars into the Middle Chamber of the Soul indicates that one can attain
the higher consciousness when one becomes free from the arbitrary psychological constraints imposed
by one’s upbringing and society and instead learns to work with and apply to daily life the opposing
permissive and restraining forces of morality that reside within one’s own conscience (parallels can be
drawn with the super ego/ego ideal described by Freud and the emotional and intellectual complexes
identified by Jung). Similarly, Joseph Campbell, in The Power of Myth, defines myth as “a
manifestation…in metaphorical images, of the energies of the organs of the body in conflict with each
other.” He describes the great realization of the Upanishads of India in the 9th Century B.C. that
“Heaven and Hell are within us, and all the gods are within us… They are magnified dreams, and
dreams are manifestations in image form of the energies of the body in conflict with each other.”
In other esoteric tradition the pillars appear at either side of the entrance to the initiation Chamber. The
one in the north is black, and the one on the left is red. They support an arch with the golden Lyre of
Orpheus at the top. The fact that the pillars differ only in color indicates that they are identical in their
essence and differ only in appearance, just as one universal consciousness is present in all things and
differs only in its physical manifestations. The pillars represent pairs of opposites: good and evil, life
and death, light and darkness, essence and substance, spirit and matter, heat and cold, man and woman,
reason and faith, authority and liberty, right and duty, harmony and discord, initiative and resistance,
etc. Astronomically they represent the equinoxes of summer and winter.
The initiate entering the initiation chamber between the pillars represents that it is the task of the
initiate to find the third term that reconciles the opposing terms into a single principle of harmonious
unity: the Law of Equilibrium. This intermediary term is symbolized by the Arch, which the pillars
support, and by the Lyre at the top, itself a symbol of Harmony, signified by two equal arms resting
upon the base of the instrument. The white robe of the Initiate and the white altar cover are also
symbolic of the third pillar which unifies or reconciles the opposing forces into harmony (when the
visible colors of the spectrum are harmonized into unity, the reflected color is white). The number 3 is
a symbol of this conciliating principle and, for this reason, figures largely in mystical teachings. The
third principle has given birth to the dogma of the Trinity, which is found at the base of all systems of
Theogony. Among the Egyptians the third term between the masculine Osiris and the feminine Isis was
the infant Horus. For the Hindus, Shiva is the transformer who reunites the powers of Brahma, the
Creator, and of Vishnu, the Savior. To the Kabbalists, Kether, the Absolute equilibrant, combines
Chocmah, the Absolute Wisdom, and Binah, the absolute Intelligence. In the Christian Theogony, the
Holy Spirit is the universal force that animates and acts as mediator between the Active Principle of the
Father and the Savior Principle of the Son.
From another standpoint, the two opposing pillars represent the perfectly balanced forces of spirit and
matter, also represented by the interlocked triangles of the hexad. Yet, only an insipid and monotonous
action can result where the forces of attraction and repulsion are evenly balanced and where no
variation occurs. Consider, for example, a piece of music consisting only of harmony and no discord.
No life can be expressed without movement, and movement cannot be initiated without impulse, or the
urge of Desire. On the other hand, life cannot be maintained without poles of attraction and counter
attraction. Therefore the balancing forces, along with a third term that throws them out of static
harmony and into dynamic equilibrium, are equally necessary for life. The third term is the momentary
destroyer of the harmony, the universal creative impulse that is the vital force of all living creatures. It
throws the perfectly balanced forces out of stasis, causes spirit to descend into matter and matter to rise
into spirit. In Genesis, the serpent represents this third term. The serpent is the agent of the temptation
and therefore the initiator of activity. It is called Nâhâsh, which means the power that puts life in
motion, the attraction of self for self. The Greeks called this power Eros, Love, or Desire. At the
suggestion of the serpent, Adam and Even eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil – the
knowledge of opposites. Their Desire for knowledge is the third principle, the impulse of free will that
causes the so-called fall and deprives man of his perfection. In reality, it is the initiation of life.
After eating of the tree, Adam and Eve move out of the Garden of Paradise, where there is no time,
where man and woman do not know that they are different from each other, and where God walks
among them. Now they are in the field of duality, where they perceive themselves as opposites and
cover their shame. The story of the fall thus represents a shift from the consciousness of identity to the
consciousness of participation in duality. Adam and Eve have thrown themselves out of the Garden of
Unity by their recognition of duality and have moved into the field of space and time, in which all
things are opposites. All things that man can perceive and conceive are dual in character. Everything he
knows is within the terminology of the concepts of being and not being, many and single, before and
after, here and there, I and you. He thinks in terms of opposites, and each principle presents itself to his
mind as two different and distinct things in opposition. So strongly marked is this duality of
appearance that most people accept each of the two aspects as being separate and independent, rather
than varying degrees of manifestation of a single principle.
Without contraries, nothing could manifest to man. How could he know good if he had no experiences
of its absence? How could he know light without darkness or positive without negative? All force
demands a resistance; all light a shade; all convexity a concavity; all vacuum a receptacle; all rulers a
realm; all sovereigns a people; all labor an unpolished stone; all conquerors a subject of conquest;
affirmation establishes itself through negation; the strong triumphs only in comparison to the weak;
aristocracy manifests itself only when rising above the proletariat. However, none of these seemingly
separate or independent conditions exist alone. For example, drought and flood are not two
disconnected events, but actually two opposite aspects of rainfall. The One and the Many are identical,
differing only in the degree of manifestation. Spirit and Matter are not two separate things. Rather,
matter is crystallized Spirit, and Spirit is sublimated matter. This last comparison gives a clue to
transmutation, a process of raising or lowering vibrations (the third principle, momentary destroyer of
equilibrium, points out the little known laws of the invisible universal force spread everywhere and is
an all powerful force in the hand of the Initiate). Thus, everything physically manifest is dual; having
two aspects that are identical in nature and differ only in degree. The second tree in the Garden of
Genesis, the Tree of Eternal Life, represents the return to the plane of consciousness in which one
identifies oneself with the unifying principle that transcends and harmonizes the opposites. Campbell
states that this tree is symbolized by the cross of Jesus, whose words “I and the Father are One” are an
expression of this doctrine.
When Yahweh threw man out of the Garden, two cherubim were placed at the gate, with a flaming
sword between them. These guardians are also depicted at Buddhist shrines, one with his mouth open,
the other with his mouth closed. They represent fear and desire, a pair of opposites that bind man to the
material realm of opposites. By passing through fear and desire, one exits the material field of
opposites – the dual realm of space and time – and enters the realm of the eternal, which is defined as
the absence of space and time. To walk the middle path between the pillars is to transcend the illusions
of duality and to identify oneself not with the material body, but with the consciousness and the
impulse of life for which the body is only a vehicle. Along with the identification of oneself with
consciousness, or spirit, comes the understanding that the true nature of all other beings is also spirit,
and that every individual is but a seemingly separate material manifestation of a single universal
consciousness that pervades the universe. This realization is the basis of the concept of Fraternity, the
doctrine that all individuals can be likened to cells comprising the one body of humanity. When one
realizes that he and the other are one, and that the apparent separateness is but an effect of the way man
experiences forms under the conditions of space and time, acts of selfless charity become second
nature, for by serving one’s brother, one serves the highest part of himself: spirit.
Coming to the realization that oneself is but a temporal and spatial manifestation of a single Divine
consciousness, or universal law that orders all things, is atonement (at-one-ment) with God. Yet, atone-
ment does not result from a mere intellectual recognition of divine unity. The universal
consciousness must become manifest in one’s own personality, which is a center for the interplay
between the forces of balance and impulse. The Initiate must see through the illusion of opposites to
understand their inherent unity and must apply this understanding to the mastery of his own being.
Like Nature, Man is made of a number of instincts and qualities that are seemingly opposite. Since
ancient times it has been recognized that the seven pairs wisdom/foolishness; wealth/poverty;
fruitfulness/childlessness; life/death; dominion/dependence; peace/war; beauty/ugliness are the ones
which most affect man’s successful progress through life. The Initiate should repeatedly check the
actions of his life against these seven pairs and take the reconciling middle position by maintaining a
balanced integrity. The Initiate who can affirm, “I come from between the pillars” has walked the
middle path through the turmoil and troubles of life and has preserved his composure. As an agent of
Omneity he is commissioned to a life of activity in a world of seeming contradiction and confusion,
from which he must work to bring his own individual pattern of harmony.