Greek Kabala Series
Greek Kabala Part 14
by Jack Courtis
All initiation is life changing. What is so special about Christian initiation? To understand this question we must go back to Greek metaphysics and mythology in order to understand the Greek concept of fate. It has three stages: pre-incarnation, during life, and at death. It is personified as feminine archetypes as follows.
Prior to incarnation, the Tree Fates, three ugly old hags, Klotho, Lachesis and Atropos, apportion a man’s share of good and evil, that is, his fate. Klotho is the spinner who by spinning the thread of his life creates the foundation of his experiences. Lachesis measures the thread of his glory (or its opposite) and Atropos exercises the power to cut it.
During life, a man has to contend with three goddesses: Anangke, Tyche and Nemessis. The first, Anangke, means Necessity. She personifies the greatness of the law of moral cause and effect and is karma in its strict application. Therefore she is remorselessly predictable unless some other factor mitigates her action. The second, Tyche, means Chance not in the scientific sense of randomness, but rather in the sense of chaos theory that is, deterministic but unpredictable. Thus she modifies her sister’s conduct but makes things worse because she makes it hard for a man to have victory over his fate. The third is Nemessis and her name means Divine Anger. She is utterly ruthless, pitiless and merciless. She pursues a man to the ends of the Earth. There is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. She knows. It is her knowledge of our actions, thoughts and feelings that makes her so terrible.
At death, the three Keres, agents of the Tree Fates, carry out the grim duty of execution. They carry the dead man’s soul to the place of shadows. The Keres are really the Three Fates in another form because they sit on the boundary of life and death.
Is all of this depressing? It should be. For the Greeks, initiation was designed to liberate them from the wrath of these dreadful females. By initiation in the Greek mystery schools a man sought what we now call salvation. Christian initiation added a new dimension to previous practices. The Christian factor is the forgiveness of sins. Our problem is that we have no idea what this means. We think that nothing more is required than for the priest to say: "Bless you my son/daughter, your sins are forgiven." If that were true you would not be reading this article now. Moreover, the history of the last 2,000 years would have been radically different. Clearly, something is wrong with our understanding. There is something missing.
Fate is the law of moral consequence that transforms us as spiritual beings. Our moral choices change our fate and therefore change our future incarnations. By accepting personal responsibility, we change our lives. By changing our lives, we change the world. The key to the problem is this: our society lives on the principle of self-gratification and "feel good". Thus Greek fate acts inexorably and mercilessly upon us. What evidence do we want? Drugs, crime, suicide, poverty, depression, despair? Under Greek fate, we get exactly what we ask for, without pity or mitigation. But at the very moment we accept personal responsibility and make moral choices, we begin to efface our karma and ameliorate our fate. We are on the brink of understanding the Christian mystery of the forgiveness of sins. This is the extra factor that takes us to Christian initiation and salvation. Let us look at all of this on the Tree of Life in order to make sense of it.
Greek fate is locked into a rigid pattern as shown in the above diagram. The Three Fates and the three goddesses are implacable and immovable. Cause creates remorseless effect, without mercy. No wonder the ancient Greek dramas were concerned with the tragedy of human life. Greek initiation involved great difficulty and it still does because of the way in which our society functions today. The real tragedy is that it is easier now, to be liberated, but we have not yet understood what is required of us. The Christian initiation brings the factor that breaks the deadlock it brings the forgiveness of sins. The greatest tragedy of all is that we do not understand that the other side of forgiveness is the acceptance of personal responsibility.
By making moral choices we set into motion the hidden processes of the kosmos that inevitably efface our karma by "forgiving our sins". Thus on the Tree above,
- We spin our life thread so that it becomes the Foundation of our life.
- We measure our thread to Glorify our life.
- We exercise our Power of choice to cut the thread when we should do so.
- Our true Greatness is the understanding of necessity.
- Our Victory is the triumph over apparently chance and meaningless events.
- Our Knowledge averts the terrible process of a rigid fate.
- By choosing Christ, we choose to accept personal responsibility and set into motion the forgiveness of sins.
These are the hidden processes of the kosmos. The activating factor is our moral choice. The Christian mystery is revealed by Christ but, we must choose Him. We must make the Christ Journey. The beginning of this Journey is the conscious choice to activate our repressed right brain functions and balance them with our very well developed left brain functions. Again we turn to the Tree for assistance.
Our right brain functions are the Inspiration that comes from true knowledge, the Imagination that is the basis of all human greatness and the Intuition that alone can bring victory to our life struggles. These blessings are bestowed upon us when we choose to undergo Christian initiation. It has three steps: Probation, Illumination and Initiation. The mystery of the forgiveness of sins becomes direct experience when all this is done by the exercise of moral choice. The point is that according to the Books of Ieou the ascent of the soul in full consciousness comes with the forgiveness of sins. That is, the second male journey can now commence. That journey is far beyond the scope of these articles.
But we still have to get to Probation, Illumination and Initiation. How do we do that? That is what the Christ Journey is about. We shall end this series by examining.