Plate VIII - The Fourth Parable
If one were to compare these 22 images with the popular representations of classical Tarot, as some have attempted, then Plate VIII could be aligned most exactingly with the Temperance Key.
The humanoid personification within this illustration is you, me, and all of us collectively. It declares our physical evolutionary progress from the primordial star-stuff plasma that burst out from the center of our galaxy’s birth, on through the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, up to our present level of conscious awareness. Our evolutionary trek through three-dimensional space and time over all those eons was guided by the Creator through the Natural Laws of the Universal Subconscious Mind (Binah in Qabalah speak). From the point of our cognizance at the upper echelon of the primates, as Homo Sapiens, we have believed in our existence as independent entities from that evolution, and in total self control of our destiny while self-absorbed by our pseudo sense of self-importance. But we are yet incomplete. The illustration here in Plate VIII is offering us, by means of the Red Garment, the method whereby we may consciously cooperate with our further evolution into 4th dimensional awareness and the 5th Kingdom of Spirit.
Our True Ego, the ego we erroneously think and believe to be ‘ours’ personally, is actually the Higher Soul of us, the true Human Soul. This is the Christ Consciousness, the Son, seated in Tiphareth, and illustrated here. The driving impetus behind the history of our evolution, from wave after wave through the lower kingdoms, has progressed with the direction and guidance that came through the human Higher Soul. The present stage to which the human race has advanced was brought here by the True Ego. It has ultimately made manifest a Chariot with nerve and brain organisms capable of expressing its own inherent spiritual nature. The natural man is coming into recognizing the energy of the superior Ego. At this point the natural man is finally capable of completing his own evolutionary course to becoming more than human. He (we) willingly takes up the symbolic ‘Red Robe’ of Rajas Guna and consciously cooperates with the Higher Soul toward our completion.
It is only through our desires, represented by that proffered Red Garment, that this may be accomplished. And a part of us, deep within, wishes it were so. But how? Alchemically speaking, from our past into the present we were, and are yet, mesmerized and entrenched by that combination of Rajas Guna with Tamas Guna in all our Metals (the figure’s conspicuous hues of red and black) expressing those habit patterns within our consciousness to continue as we are, who we are, what we are and where we are. But a hand of another shade reaches out for a deliverance we do not yet understand; how do we achieve some relief from this Valley of Tears?
The androgynous angelic figure at the right is our Holy Guardian Angel, the ONE Guardian Angel of all humanity, the Krishna of Hinduism and the Christ Consciousness seated in Tiphareth, as the six-pointed star above the head and the ocean of ‘mind matter’ below the feet imply. On the Qabalistic Tree of Life this is the 25th Path of the Hebrew letter Samekh, which links the Sphere of Tiphareth, our indwelling Ego, with the 9th Sphere, Yesod, the Vital Soul. The Holy Guardian Angel is the active mode of the One Ego in Tiphareth. In the classical Tarot the True Ego is represented by the Temperance Key. When we take up the Mantel of the Great Work of Return to our Source, we must come to total dependence upon this Holy, Super-Christ-Consciousness level within. “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6.
The ‘I-Consciousness’, the ego within us all which we feel to be ‘personal’, is the One Ego of ALL humanity. It was the Christ Consciousness, fully incarnated within the personality-vehicle of the man, Jesus, whose utterly perfected Chariot allowed that level of Consciousness, the Son of the Father, to express Himself fully into the material plane. This is also OUR work, as He had demonstrated by His profoundly world-changing example.
Qabalistic and Hermetic literature, and Alchemical Manuscripts with Illustrations such as Splendor Solis are telling us by words and pictures as best they can. The apparent codes and enigmas are not all that secret to those of us who are ready to put away this physical worldly nonsense deemed ‘reality’.
This is NOT intellectual guessing or theory. This is NOT psychological, subjective, mental speculation or even wishful thinking. The pictures and manuscripts of those by-gone eras were offering a direct route to a very actual reality, coded in form, due to the periods of our history ruled by ignorance and darkness holding the temporal power. Remembrances of those periods remain yet in the collective consciousness, which is still resisting the yet deeper urges for an absolute freedom and existence that lies beyond our capacity to possibly imagine.