Elsa M. Glover
After one has attained Initiation, he has the ability to see in the higher Worlds. John first indicates the Creative Powers which can be contacted in the higher Worlds (Rev. 4). The One which John saw sitting on the central throne represents God. The twenty-four elders surrounding Him represent the positive and negative poles of the twelve signs of the zodiac. The seven . torches represent the seven planetary Spirits (the Spirits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus). The sea of glass represents the total of all wisdom, the Cosmic Mind. This is the same as the Molten Sea made by Hiram Abiff in the Masonic Legend. The four living creatures, which bear resemblance to the symbolical representations of the four fixed signs of the zodiac, can be associated with the four elements associated with these signs and with the four states of matter associated with these elements and with the beings which work in these states of matter. Thus the Lion (Leo, Fire, Etheric Region) represents the Angels, the ox (Tauras, Earth, Dense Physical Region) represents man, the man (Aquarius, Air, World of Thought) represents the Lords of Mind, and the eagle (Scorpio, Water, Desire World) represents the Archangels.
An alternate level of interpretation of John's view of the Creative Hierarchies is possible. For every creative power in the universe there is a part of this creative power within man. Thus, taking the microcosmic view, the one on the central throne can be taken to be the God Within (the Ego), the elders and torches can be taken to be the zodiacal and planetary forces within man, and the four living creatures can be taken to be the vital, dense, mind, and desire bodies of man.
In the higher worlds, the past evolution of man, the life and life-after-death activities, and the planned future evolution of man can be seen. John describes these in symbolical form (Rev. 5: 11). Chapter 5 tells of a scroll sealed with seven seals, which only a slain Lamb was worthy to open. The Lamb represents the Christ consciousness. The scroll represents the wisdom which can be attained in the higher worlds. In chapter 6, John says he saw a white horse with a rider holding a bow who went out to conquer. This represents man at the start of his evolution. The white horse indicates innocence. The bow represents aspirations. Then appeared a red horse and rider who took peace from the Earth. This represents man acting under selfish passions. Then appeared a black horse with a rider carrying scales in his hand. This represents man enmeshed in materiality (spiritual darkness). The scales indicate that man in this state must be guided by laws. It is added that the oil and wine must not be harmed. The oil is the oil for the lamp of life, which is the soul. The wine is the life force. The laws must guide man in such a way that he will not stop his soul growth and will not misuse the life force.
Finally, a pale horse appeared whose rider was Death. Eventually all mortal men die physically. Rev. 6:12-17 describes the process of dying. Since a microcosmic level of interpretation is being taken here, the Sun and Moon represent the solar and lunar forces within the body, and the kings of the Earth represent the forces which rule the various parts of the body. The stars of the sky falling to Earth represent the cosmic forces which take over in the body as the individual Spirit leaves. The sky vanishing like a scroll being rolled up correlates with the fact that when the vital, desire, and mind bodies leave the physical body, they leave with a spiral motion.
The consciousness of John then enters the Desire World and sees what happens to men in purgatory and the First Heaven. In Rev. 8:1-5, John describes an Angel with a censer containing incense, the smoke from which mingled with the prayers from saints. Then the Angel took the censer and filled it with fire and threw it on the Earth. The censer with incense represents the hurt feelings of innocent people. The censers being filled with fire and thrown on the Earth indicate that in the same measure as a person caused others to suffer, he will suffer himself, and thus the earthy (or lower) part of his nature will be burned out (or purged). Rev, 8:6-9:19 describe more of the purging process. The four Angels mentioned in 9:15 are the four Recording Angels who watch over the workings of the Law of Cause and Effect. In Rev. 9:20 it states that: "The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands. . . . " Those parts of our lower nature which have not been killed in one purgatorial experience will still be present in our natures in our next life. We cannot learn all our lessons in one life.
In Rev. 7:1-17, the experiences of man in the First Heaven are described. The four Angels mentioned in 7:1 are again the four Recording Angels. They were told not to harm the 144,000 people who were sealed as servants of God. According to the customary procedures used in numerical symbolism, 144,000 equals (adding the digits) 9, which is the number of man. This indicates that virtually all men (after passing through purgatory) reach the First Heaven. This interpretation is further substantiated by the statement in 7:9 that a great multitude was there which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, clothed in white robes. In 7:14-17, it further states that: "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. . . . They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more. . . . and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." The great tribulation (in a microcosmic level of interpretation) is purgatory. The white robes indicate that the suffering in purgatory cleansed their desire bodies. That they will hunger and thirst no more indicates that whatever they had desired on Earth (of an uplifting nature) will here be realized.
When man passes into the Second Heaven, he spends some time evaluating and assimilating his experiences of his past life. This is described in Rev, 10:8-11:2. John tells how an Angel gave him a scroll to eat which was sweet in his mouth but bitter in his belly. The scroll represents wisdom. Eating the scroll represents taking wisdom into his consciousness. Being sweet in his mouth represents seeing the beauty or rightness of some piece of wisdom. Being bitter in his belly indicates that when it comes time to use wisdom and to do what one knows is right (after return to Earth life) it is not always easy or pleasant. The measuring of the Temple of God indicates the evaluation of the structures of one's physical body, habits, desires, and thoughts of the previous life. John was told not to measure the courtyard. This indicates that one should not evaluate his associates and blame them for any of his shortcomings.
Rev, 11:4-19 briefly describes the planned direction of the evolution of man. The two lampstands and two olive trees are the sources of divine guidance for man and the opportunities for soul growth which come to men (remember that the olive oil used in the lamps of life represented the soul). The beast that ascends from the bottomless pit may make war on the prophets and kifl them. The beast is selfish passion. Passion may tempt man not to follow the divine direction and may succeed. But the prophets come back to life. Although the divine Light may be disregarded for a while, it cannot be extinguished and it will return to the consciousness of man. Eventually, the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of Christ. This section ends with the Ark of the Covenant being seen in heaven. The Ark is the symbolical representation of the Initiate (the Ark contained the tables of law, a gold pot of manna, and Aaron's rod, which represent the Initiate with the Law within his heart, the soul body, and the spiritualized creative force currents).
--Rays from the Rose Cross Magazine, October, 1977