Serving the ideals of the Rosicrucian Movement

Kabala Library

Greek Kabala Series

Greek Kabala Part 17

by Jack Courtis

It is impossible to overstate the importance of Knowledge as a part of the process of spiritual transformation we call the Christ Journey. It is actually impossible to "know" Knowledge as a left brain concept. Knowledge is an experience and that is why we can only "know" it by Crucifixion. In a further attempt to grasp the ungraspable, let us return to the pentagram that we first saw in Part 3 of this series.


Knowledge emerges out of and is therefore the consequence of a dynamic interplay of forces. (Have you seen the pun? The word "dynamic" comes from the Greek word "Dynamis" which means "Power"). As a formula it looks like this:

First Principle Þ Glory Þ Understanding Þ Wisdom Þ Power Þ First Principle = Knowledge

There is a sense in which we must first grasp all the other spheres of the Tree before we can bring forth the non-sphere of Knowledge. That is why we must do the combined, feminine and masculine journeys before the Christ Journey. The emergence of Knowledge on the Tree is a higher version of the Virgin Birth. This means that we are dealing with a deep mystery and it therefore requires all the right brain processes of Imagination, Intuition, Illumination and Initiation, which we must activate by a positive Choice. Again we note that this implies a radical change of our consciousness.

Step 8 – Understanding

Can we now "understand" Understanding? Probably not and that is why we need Mary as the Mother of Sorrows to personify the concept. In this capacity Mary is not only the Mother, she is also the Widow. It is as well to remember that the non-sphere of Knowledge involves Mary both as the Virgin (in a form of the Virgin Birth) and also as the experience of the Magdalene. It is in this context that Understanding follows Knowledge. We must be very clear on this, Knowledge is the first part of a process of which Understanding is the second and Wisdom is the third. What is it that we must understand? Mary as the Virgin gives birth to the Redeemer then as the Mother and Widow, watches Him die in order to live again. Can we truly "understand"? Only if we imitate Mary in all her aspects. That is a very tall order indeed.

We approach Mary via p (pi), Sagittarius from Power and t (tav), Pisces from Glory through Knowledge. The formula is:

Understanding = Power + Glory + Knowledge

Every Sunday morning we intone the Lord’s Prayer and say, "…..for thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory……", as a matter of routine. What do we "understand" by this?

Note also that Mary stands at the top of the left pillar of Righteousness and this is the first stage of the Christ Journey. Thus she embodies the Greatness of Imagination and the Power of Illumination within her own Understanding. We need to "understand" all of these principles in order to "know" Understanding.

Step 9 – Wisdom

The path that connects Understanding with Wisdom is very subtle because the difference between the two concepts is itself very subtle. It is easy to confuse one with the other, but they must be kept apart in dynamic (that word again) tension. This is the path of c (chi) and Fire. It is the path of the Widow on the feminine journey and needs to seen as a part of the Resurrection process. We are reminded of the widowed Isis and her role in the resurrection of the dead Osiris. In our case, we already know that Mary (as the Mother and Widow) stands at the foot of the Cross when Christ dies and this is linked to Mary Magdalene with her part in the process. If we "understand" Mary as Virgin, Mother and Widow, together with Mary Magdalene as the priestess, to be aspects of Sofia, then the picture emerges. But note that we need that level of consciousness we call Knowledge so that we can Understand with Wisdom and be Wise with Understanding.

We also approach Joseph via r (rho), Capricorn from Power through Knowledge and u (ipsilon), Jupiter on the ascent of the soul from Glory. There is something very interesting here. We are dealing with the paths of C ,c (chi), R ,r (rho) and U ,u (ipsilon). The letters C r (chi/rho) are the first two letters of CristoV (Christ) and U (ipsilon) is written with a fork above a single stroke. The Gnostics used this letter to denote the Person of the Son with his dual Nature of Human and Divine. The formula is:

Wisdom = Power + Knowledge + Glory

Wisdom is personified by Joseph as the earthly aspect of the Great Father. Just like Our Father, we see and hear little of Joseph and the emphasis remains upon the Son. The supreme act of Wisdom by Joseph is to listen to the instruction he receives from the angel and to marry the already pregnant Mary. Wisdom is the act that is based not upon ignorant and blind obedience, but upon Knowledge of what is involved and Understanding of what must be done. Is this how we normally act? Really?

Joseph stands at the top of the right pillar of Mercy and embodies the Victory of Intuition and the Glory of Initiation, within his own Wisdom. We need to "understand" all of these principles in order to "know" Wisdom.

Step 10 – First Principle

This is the Ascension into a completely incomprehensible level of consciousness. It is a Virgin Birth into a state that we cannot "understand" in any sense of that word. We can do little more than note that we approach this sphere via:

  1. x (xi), Water from Goodness through Knowledge. This is the second feminine step of Mary Magdalene with its connotations of anointing the Redeemer and assisting in His Resurrection.
  2. s (sigma), Aquarius from Power.
  3. f (fi), Air from Glory. This is the third feminine step of the Mother who gives the Virgin Birth.
  4. y (psi), Aether from Understanding. This is the fifth feminine step and the Assumption of Mary as Sofia. The final step of the feminine journey ends appropriately with the First Principle. The dark yin reunites with the light yang. The Mother joins the Redeemer to whom she gave Birth as a Virgin.
  5. w (omega), Saturn on the ascent of the soul from Wisdom. Again, appropriately, the final step of the masculine journey in both its outer and inner aspects ends with the First Principle.

First Principle stands at the top of the middle pillar of Grace and is truly the pillar of consciousness where the great initiations of the Christ Journey are performed. There are five initiations from the bottom of the Tree up to the top and we must imitate Christ in all of them. Each Initiation involves a change in our level of consciousness and this is personified by the images we have considered:

Virgin Birth, Baptism, Transfiguration, Death/Resurrection, Ascension

This is how we can understand Grace, as the natural consequence of the completion of the Christ Journey. In that sense it is a deep mystery because although it encompasses the forgiveness of sins, it is a much greater concept than that. The point is subtle because these two concepts are confused by the old theology and that is why we are told by it not to worry and have faith because Grace is freely given without merit or work on our part. Really? Have you seen it in your life? It is easier to "feel good" isn’t it?

Let us end this journey by examining the five stages of transformation as they affect our levels of conscious awareness:

  1. Virgin Birth: as a result of the combined, feminine and masculine journeys, we emerge into a state of consciousness of a new spiritual reality.
  2. Baptism: like Jesus, we become aware of our mission for this life. This experience is characterised by the statement, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22).
  3. Transfiguration: like Jesus, we are totally transformed and receive authority from that experience. This is characterised by the statement, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him" (Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35). Authority comes from the extra statement, "hear ye him". This is therefore a cumulative change from the previous stage.
  4. Death/Resurrection: we must choose to die so that we live and therefore to know.
  5. Ascension: we enter the gateless gate to the pathless path that lies beyond. We cannot even imagine what this level of consciousness is like. It is however a state in which we no longer need the structured and disciplined action provided by the Tree of Life. We are truly free to make our own way.


We have come a long way on all these journeys and it has been very tiring. You were warned though and cannot complain that you did not know what you were doing. The fundamental principle of all these journeys is personal responsibility and now you can understand why that is so.

You might have guessed, but this is only the beginning. All you have seen in these articles is an introduction to the Great Work of Salvation. Much can be written but in the end, it is all empty words unless you take responsibility for yourself. Make moral choices, change your fate and direct your future incarnations.


As a post-script, the last article in this series will examine the relationship between the Greek and Hebrew Trees of Life.