Question: What is the meaning of the letters I.N.R.I. sometimes placed over the cross? (Vol. II, #78)
Answer: We are told in the gospel story that Pilate placed a sign reading, "Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorem," and His Cross, and this is translated in the authorized version to mean "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." But the four intitials, I.N.R.I., placed upon the Cross represent the names of the four elements in Hebrew: Iam, water; Nour, fire; Ruach, spirit or vital air; and Iabeshah, earth. This is the occult key to the mystery of the crucifixion, for it symbolizes in the first place the Salt, Sulphur, Mercury, and Azoth which were used by the ancient alchemists to make the Philosopher's Stone, the universal solvent, the elixer-vitae.
The two "I's" (Iam and Iabeshah) represent the salient luna element water, (a) in fluidic state holding salt in solution, and (b) in the coagulated extract of this water, "the salt of the earth." In other words, the finer fluidic vehicles of man and his dense body. N, (Nour) in Hebrew stands for fire and the combustile elements, chief among which are sulphur and phosphorous, so necessary to oxidation and without which warm blood would be an impossibility. The Ego could not then function in the body, nor could thought find a material expression. R (Ruach) is the Hebrew equivalent for the Spirit, Azoth, functioning in the mercuria mind. Thus the four letters, I.N.R.I., placed over the Cross of Christ according to the gospel story represent composite man, the Thinker, at the point of his spiritual development when he is getting ready for liberation from the cross of his dense vehicle.
Proceeding further along the same line of elucidation we may note that I.N.R.I. is the symbol of the crucified candidate for the following additional reasons:
Iam is the Hebrew word signifying water, the fluidic lunar element, which forms the principal part of the human body (about 87 per cent), and this word is also the symbol of the finer fluidic vehicles of desire and emotion.
Nour, the Hebrew word signifying fire, is a symbolic representation of the heat-producing red blood laden with martial iron, fire, and energy, which the occultist sees coursing as gas through the veins and arteries of the human body, infusing it with energy and ambition, and without which there could be neither material nor spiritual progress. It also represents the sulphur and phosphorous necessary for the material manifestation of thought as already mentioned.
Ruach, the Hebrew word for Spirit, or vital air, is an excellent symbol of the Ego clothed in the mercurial mind which makes man man, and enables him to control and direct his bodily vehicles and activities in a rational manner.
Iabeshah is the Hebrew word for earth, representing the solid fleshy part which makes up the cruciform earthy body, crystallized within the finer vehicles at birth and severed from them in the ordinary course of things at death, or in the extraordinary event that we learn to die the mystic death and ascend to the glories of higher spheres for a time.
This stage of the Christian Mystic's spiritual development therefore involves a reversal of the creative force from its ordinary downward course through the tripartite spinal cord where the three segments are ruled by the Moon, Mars, and Mercury, respectively, and where the ray of Neptune then lights the regenerative spinal spirit-fire which, mounting upward, sets the pituitary body, and the pineal gland into vibration. This, opening up the spiritual sight and striking the frontal sinus, starts the crown of thorns throbbing with pain as the bond with the physical body is burned by the sacred spirit-fire which wakes this center from its age long sleep to a throbbing, pulsating life, sweeping onward to the other centers in the five- pointed stigmatic star. They are also vitalized and the whole vehicle becomes aglow with a golden glory. Then with a final wrench the great vortex of the desire body located in the liver is liberated, and the martial energy contained in that vehicle propels upward the sidereal vehicle (so-called because the stigmata in the head, hands, and feet are located in the same relative position to one another as the points in the five-pointed star), which ascends through the skull (Golgotha), while the crucified Christian utters his triumphant cry, "Consummatum est" (it has been accomplished), and soars into the subtler spheres to seek Jesus whose life he has imitated with such success and from whom he is henceforth inseparable. Jesus is his Teacher and his guide to the Kingdom of Christ where all shall be united in one body to learn and to practice the Religion of the Father to whom the Kingdom will eventually revert that He may be All in All.
Question: Why were the colors of the veil of the Temple and the priest's robes as spoken of in Exodus, blue, purple, and scarlet, instead of the three primary colors? (Vol. II, #82)
Answer: The Tabernacle in the Wilderness was the first church ever erected on Earth. When humanity had been driven away from the basins of the Earth by the condensation of the waters which had previously hung like a dense mist over the Earth, the spiritual sight which had hitherto guided them became a hindrance to physical development. Thus it waned, and man's senses became focused in the physical world. This change involved a severance from the Divine Hierarchs who had hitherto guided man on the path of evolution. They became invisible and man missed them. Then there arose in his heart a longing for God which was met by giving him the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and prescribing certain divine laws for his guidance. Jehovah was the Lawmaker and the particular Genius of the Original Semites who were the seed race of the coming Aryan Epoch; and behind Him stood the Most High, the Father. You will find this in such passages as Deuteronomy 32, verses 8 and 9, where it is stated that the Most High divided the people into nations and gave a certain portion to the Lord, who guided them and brought them out of Egypt, the land where the Bull was worshipped, into the Aryan Rainbow Age. This was inaugurated by using the blood of the Lamb, Aries, at the Passover accomplished by Noah and giving them laws by Moses which were all symbolically shown in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.
The color of the Most High, the Father, is a spiritual blue. The color of Jehovah is red (indicating the sacrificial aspect of blood) and the mixture of these two colors produces purple. Therefore, these two colors were shown on the veil of the Temple, but there was also the color white, which showed in symbology that something was still missing. Under the regime of Jehovah it was necessary to give an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. That was demanded by the Law dictated by Him, and given to Moses. This Law reigned until Christ, who then brought grace and truth, rending the Temple veil. Under that ancient law sacrifices of animals were compulsory, for humanity had not yet learned how to make a sacrifice of themselves. When the Christ showed the way to truth and life by making a sacrifice of Himself, the Temple veil was rent, the old system was abrogated, and a new way was opened for the salvation of "whosoever will."
In the new dispensation there is therefore no veil on which the color of the Initiator may be displayed. A better way has been found of marking those that are Christ's with His golden color individually, and thus it is that those who follow the path of service and self-sacrifice evolve within their own aura the golden Christ color, which is the third of the primary colors. This is the priestly robe of the new dispensation without which no one can ever enter the Kingdom, and no robe obtained at pseudo initiations can ever take its place, no matter what price is paid.
Question: In your esoteric explanation of Wagner's opera Tannhauser, you (Max Heindel) state that man must find the woman in himself. Just what do you mean? (Vol. II, #83)
Answer: It is taught both in the Bible and esoterically that there was a time when mankind was male-female, hermaphrodite, or bi-sexual. At that time each was able to perpetuate the species without the assistance of anyone else. Man was then a complete unit, capable of self-fertilization. However, in order to become a perfect vehicle for the Spirit it was necessary that a brain should be evolved, together with a larynx, so that man might be able to think and express himself in words. In order to accomplish this one half the creative force was directed upward to build these organs and enable man to turn his creative consciousness outward and people the world with things of his fancy, such as we see in ships, houses, railways, telephones, and all other things made by the hand of man, which have first been conceived in thought, then objectified in the world.
Thus man became a creator on two planes, the physical and the mental, but we know that we cannot make an electric circuit with one wire. We must have two of opposite polarity and when one half the creative force was diverted to the brain, only the other half remained usable for procreation. Thus man ceased to be a complete creative unit and became dependent upon someone else to supply the part of the force which he lacked, either positive or negative, masculine or feminine. Since then sorrow, sin, and trouble have entered into the world, and we have come under the dominion of death. However, in time mankind will learn to turn the other half of the creative force upward through the spinal cord into the brain, which will then be bi-polar.
At that time we shall use both the hemispheres of our cerebrum and not one as is now the case. When that day has come man will have found the woman within himself, and woman will have found the man within herself. Then it will not any longer be necessary to seek a mate in order to perpetuate our bodies, for we shall then be able to conceive in our brain a vehicle fit for our expression and objectify it as we now clothe our other ideas in physical form. It is by this power that Adepts perpetuate their physical existence and create a new body before they leave the old, but they have two spinal cords and use both hemispheres of the brain.
This article was adapted from "The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers, Vol. II," by Max Heindel.