On the Mysteries
Lost Wisdom of the Ancient Teachers©
"BABYLON THE GREAT IS FALLEN, IS FALLEN AND HAS BECOME THE DWELLING PLACE OF DEVILS - THE HOLD OF EVERY [KIND OF] FOUL SPIRIT - THE CAGE OF EVERY UNCLEAN AND HATEFUL BIRD." - REVELATION. 18:2
"THEY SHALL BE MINE, SAYS THE LORD OF HOSTS, WHEN I MAKE UP MY JEWELS AND I WILL SPARE THEM, AS A MAN SPARES HIS SON, WHO SERVES HIM FAITHFULLY . . . AND THEN SHALL YOU RETURN AND DISCERN BETWEEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED, BETWEEN HIM WHO SERVES ME AND HIM WHO DOES NOT." - MALACHI 3:17,18
Western Civilization is in great crisis, as I am sure you can observe for yourself, living as you do in Brussels. All of mankind’s sciences should have as their basis Divine Principles. If they do not, then the social, political, economic and psychological constructions of man will collapse. Our present dilemma is the direct result of our national leader’s failure to seek for and hold on to the Divine behind all manifestation. They seem too preoccupied with economics and trade.
THE FRUITS OF FALSE RELIGION
The above passage about Babylon describes in vivid language the present state of Western Civilization, as seen through the discerning eyes of those living outside the West. Many of our institutions, which may have had noble or even sacred origins, now appear to be corrupted at
various levels. I believe that this is the by-product of a religious belief that has become the dominate view of man and God, in the West. This belief system fails to recognize the possibility of Spiritual Transformation, leading to the Divinization of Man and the Universe. It
doses not encourage men to awaken the sleeping soul within, much less assist it to climb Jacob’s nine-runged ladder of the Angels. It simply does not know how to assist man to develop the latent power that lies dormant in his bosom. Christ and the Apostles, all taught that man is asleep and must be awakened before he can begin to achieve his destiny.
This false religious perspective announces that there is no necessity for man to strive or even do anything, because everything has already been done for him by the Savior who died on the cross two thousand years ago. It’s exponents fail to distinguish between a gift of, let’s say ten thousand dollars, given to pay off a person’s debts and a gift of ten
million dollars left in a will. This mind set pretends the latter has happened, when in fact only the former has transpired. It is fairly obvious that a nation’s religious views will impact its laws, economics and every aspect of life. Therefore, in our society we see the fruits of
Babylon becoming very ripe - exploitative monopoly-capitalism, a military-industrial complex, run- a-way crime rates, glorification of perverted sex, a floundering educational system and on and on. But already many signs of New Jerusalem are also appearing, even as Babylon collapses.
BABYLON AND NEW JERUSALEM EXISTING SIDE BY SIDE
While the mind-set I described above looks for external results involving large crowds and lots of activity, the path of Initiation often goes somewhat slower. The former glories in mass evangelism and mass conversions. It seems eager to embrace any warm body to fill a seat in its meeting houses. Ultimately, the great failure of this psychological
view- point, is its refusal to make a strong distinction between those who sincerely love and serve the Most High and those who profess some type of religious experience, yet continue to live a pleasure pursuing, profit chasing, hedonistic life-style. This type of religion is like the tomb Jesus described, full of dead men’s bones and buzzards. Such
individuals stand in sharp contrast to those whom God calls ‘my Jewels’, who have become living examples of the Perfection that is only attained through slow growth, quiet development and scientific initiation. They are Acorns who have been transformed into might Oak Trees.
In this series of writings, I shall attempt to convey in as plain a language as I can muster, some of the esoteric teachings and methods for attaining spiritual and psychological Perfection as practiced by the followers of the Ancient Order, in so far I am allowed to put them into written form, for much of it was intended for oral transmission only.
Needless to say, these will be teachings you were probably not exposed to, at your University or in your theological classes. Granted, the true science of Initiation has disappeared from view in many parts of the earth, due to persecution, neglect and sometimes due to the lack of
adequate students. And in truth, great portions of these teachings were not intended for the mass of mankind, simply because the majority are weak-kneed and shallow-minded. This does not mean that we have nothing to offer the carnal person, for even dogs get the bread crumbs from the table.
THE REAL PSYCHOLOGY
Today, there are some three hundred different varieties of Psychology. One might suppose that Freud, with his anal fixation, invented the word ‘psychology’, but such is not the case. The word ‘psyche’ literally means soul. Carl Jung may have opened up new vistas to modern researchers but my appreciation goes to Abraham Maslov,
who at least had the foresight to study the lives of healthy, fulfilled individuals, like Thomas Jefferson and others. What is not so well known is that for hundred of years, the ancient Brotherhood taught the Science of Divine-Consciousness through a graduated series of
teachings and practices. Just as we devise educational systems with more or less, twelve grades, so too did the Brotherhood recognize progressive states of Maturity.
Jesus himself taught the vital importance of ‘knowing oneself’. Peter thought he knew himself but discovered that he could disown his beloved master. In the Gospel of Thomas, we see Jesus teaching his disciples, "Know that the Kingdom is inside you and it is outside you.
When you come to Know yourselves, then you will become known and you will realize that it is you who are the Sons of the Living Father. But if you will not Know yourselves, you live in poverty and it is you who are the are the poverty."1
On another occasion, he taught them, "Therefore, if one does not understand how the fire came to be, he will burn in it, because he does not know his root. If one does not understand the water, he doesn’t know anything, so why should he be baptized in it? If one does not understand how the wind which blows, came into being, he will run with
And if one does not understand how the body he wears came into existence,
he will perish with it. . . . He who will not Know the root of all things,
will discover that all things are hidden from him . . . He who does
not understand how he came, will not understand how he will go. He who
will not be a stranger to the world, will be humbled by it. If the flesh
came into being because of spirit, it is a marvel, but if the spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of wonders. Indeed, I am amazed at how great wealth has made its home in this poverty. I tell you the truth, that which you have within you will save you, if you bring it forth from yourselves, but that which you do not have within you will kill you, if you do not have it within you."2
HOW DOES INITIATION DIFFER FROM EDUCATION?
Today’s elementary schools may have twelve levels or grades as they are often called. Their main objective is to educate the mind and to a lesser extent the body. Initiation seeks to do the same but it goes far beyond this, in that it seeks to acquaint oneself with his own true Self
and God. It differs also in the methods it employs to strengthen the will and to build a perfected individual. Initiation is the process of speeding up the natural evolution of the soul. Bear with me now, as I attempt to reveal some of the little known practices of the ancient Christian church.
One of the most important passages concerning Initiation in the New Testament has lost some of its meaning thru translation, especially in the King James Version. The Slavonic Version is much more accurate. It reads: "I press on toward the high Grades of God in Christ Jesus."3 The Authorized has "calling" instead of "grades", completely
misleading the reader. For just as "there is one glory of the Sun and another glory of the Moon and another glory of the Stars, for one star differs from another by its glory."4 So, too may the true Initiates of God advance in glory, for "we all, with open face behold the glory of God, as in a mirror, seeing ourselves changed into that image [progressing] from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord."5
In my book Forbidden Truths Revealed, I emphasized the fact that Jesus Christ established three rings of discipleship around himself, which in many ways corresponded to the structure of a temple. The outermost circle comprised the newest recruits, many of whom still lived carnal
lifestyles. If these disciples of the ‘outer court’ should fail to develop spiritually, they could not be initiated into the Higher Mysteries and would be left to work out the laws of karma, through a much slower and longer cycle of progress, as represented by the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac. On the other hand, those who did progress spiritually in
the manner desired, would like like Jacob, awaken to the Ladder of the Angels and ascend through the various heavens. Clement of Alexandria revealed in one of his writings that the Path of Initiation, as laid out by the Savior, entailed ascending through the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac.
One of the expectations of the Essenes, was that when the Messiah appeared, every man in Israel would know his place within the Kingdom of God, in this lifetime and be able to fulfill his particular role. This expectation can be clearly seen in a passage from the Dead Sea Scrolls,
which reads, "The object is that every man in Israel may be made aware of his status in the community of God."6 Another passage reads, "The Priests are first to be reviewed in due order, one after another, with respect to the state of their spirits. After them, the
Levites shall be similarly reviewed and in the third place, all the laity."7 "One after another in their thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens."8 We cannot ignore the importance which the Essences placed on the concept of Community but we must also realize that they attempted to build this community through the process of Initiation.
It is my belief that this desired expectation did find it’s final realization within the earthy Jewish Church. In Matthew’s Gospel, we find an account of Jesus feeding loaves of bread and fishes to two large crowds of people.9 Mark’s Gospel tells us that Jesus commanded his disciples to have the crowds "sit down by companies upon the green
grass and they sat down in ranks by hundred, by fifties."10 The first group consisted of 5,000 men (not including women and children), while the second consisted of 4,000 men. In my book, Forbidden Truths Revealed, I touched upon the symbolic meaning behind these two accounts, by pointing out that the crowd of 5,000 was fed with
Five Loaves, while the crowd of 4,000 was fed with Seven Loaves and suggested that on a surface level these Twelve Loaves represented levels of service, attained through Initiation but that on an esoteric level they represented the five Lower Mysteries and the seven Higher
Mysteries. In that book, I made no attempt to explain why this is so, but in this series of writings, I hope to explore the exoteric, the mesoteric and the esoteric levels of meaning found in these accounts.
We are told that the food remnants from the 5,000 were placed in twelve wicker baskets (kophinoi) while the left-overs from the 4,000 were placed in seven plaited containers (spy rides). Matthew and Mark are both careful to use the same Greek words, so we would do well to examine the reason for this. Wicker baskets were open, in contrast to the plaited containers, which could be closed up, symbolizing the secrecy surrounding the Mysteries.
If we add 4,000 to 5,000, we get 9,000 which reduces down (after the Pythagorian method) to the number Nine, which always speaks of Initiation. Those who read these Gospel accounts and take them in a strictly literal sense, miss some important truths. An interesting question here, is why Jesus and Peter walked on water between these two
feedings? Exoterically the sea waves represent the depths of one’s illusions, our passions and lusts, and the darkness of night, as seen in the seventh Sign of the Zodiac. Libra is drawn with the symbol of the Sun sinking into the ocean. When the conflicts and wars within our soul are stilled, we arrive instantly at our desired destiny, like the fishermen
arriving on shore. Only when we have stilled those raging waves can we be admitted to the Middle and Higher Mysteries of God. What we are dealing with here, in a hidden manner is the system of Initiation as practiced by the early Church, for Jesus taught them a ‘Way’ through the Mysteries by advanced Initiation. If we wished to make a keyboard
to reflect these truths, the twelve chromatic musical notes would have five black keys and seven white keys - to represent the five diatonic keys and and the seven chromatic keys. Before proceeding with our study, we must first take a look at the twelve kinds of service found in the early Church.
THE TWELVE TYPES OF SERVICE IN THE EARLY CHURCH
We will begin by examining five passages that touch upon the twelve gifts of Leadership given to the Early Church by the Spirit of God. Our first passage shows more the purpose of the gifts rather than their rank or order of importance: "And He gave some to be Apostles, and some
to be Prophets and some to be Evangelists and some Pastors and some to be Teachers, for the Perfection of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry unto the the building up of the body of Christ.11 As a matter of fact, Paul placed the work which the great Teachers were doing above even that of the Pastors, as can be seen in the next passage: "God has
set some in the Church, first the Apostles, second the Prophets, thirdly Teachers, after that Miracles, then gifts of Healing, Helps, Governments, different kinds of Tongues (languages)."12 By ‘governments’ Paul is referring to the Elders which he and Barnabus had appointed over the churches.13 Under them were the Deacons.14
John, the Beloved, in his Apocalypse refers to two more levels of service, of a more spiritual nature: "[Jesus Christ] has made us Kings and Priests unto God and his Father."15 These ‘kings’ belonged the the highest Order of the Perfect. In one place, Paul pokes fun at some of the foolish ones in Corinth, who were passing themselves off as
belonging to this highest Order of the Perfect.16 Many of the New Testament Prophets belonged to this Order and were known for their unusual, even miraculous abilities. The ‘Priests’ were sometimes included among the ranks of the Elders, although, the early Christians, like the Essenes placed their Priests above their Elders.
We are beginning to get a glimpse of the order, rank and importance of the various leadership roles within the early Church. Now, we must consider the particular contribution made by each of these servants to the Church. The special gift of each order has also been provided to us
by Paul. We read, "The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each man to profit thereby; to one the Spirit gives the word of Wisdom, to another the word of Knowledge, by the same Spirit; to another Faith, by the same Spirit, to another gifts of Healing, by the same Spirit, to another
the producing of Miracles, to another Prophecy, to another the [ability] to Discern spirits, to another different kinds of Languages, to another the Interpretation of languages; yet all these work because one and the same Spirit divides to each man as He wills."17
Furthermore, "having then gifts that differ according to the grace that is given to us, whether Prophecy, then prophesy according to the measure of faith. If Ministry, then minister; or Teaching, then teach or he who Exhorts, [let him] exhort; he who Gives, let him do it with
simplicity; he who Rules, let him rule with diligence; and he who shows Mercy, let him do so with cheerfulness."18 By combining these texts, we are now able to show both Office and Gift:
3. Prophets..............Prophecy, Miracles
5. Priests..................Healings (especially Exorcisms)
10. Administrations....Mercy (See I Cor. 6:1-4)
11. Helps...................Discernment of Spirits
12. Interpreters...........Discernment of Languages
We know there were twelve tribes and twelve Apostles. Now, we see twelve Gifts of Service. Why twelve?
THE LOST WISDOM OF THE ANCIENT TEACHERS
It is well known that Initiation in many of the ancient schools of Wisdom, made use of the Zodiac to illustrate Divine truths. According to Josephus, the Jewish historian, the Temple at Jerusalem had the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac inlaid in the floor of the Holy Place. He also
stated that the twelve loaves of Showbread in the Holy Place represented the Zodiac.19 The Book of Jubilees, which was probably written about 150 B.C. informs us that Enoch was taken up to heaven by God before the Flood, where he was instructed to write a book for his
fellow men. We read: "And he was the first among men that are born on Earth, who learned writing and Knowledge and Wisdom and who wrote down the Signs of Heaven, according to their months, in a book that men might know the seasons of the year. . ." Enoch then returned to
earth and gave the book to the Holy ones for safe keeping, before returning to heaven. The Hebrew scriptures tell us that Adam named the animals, but God named the stars; "He tells the number of the stars, He calls them all by their names."20
The first Bible known to man consisted of the Stars of heaven. David wrote in his Psalm, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork. Day after day utters his speech and night after night shows his Knowledge. There is no tongue or language where their Voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth and their words to the ends of the world. In them [the Signs] He has set a tabernacle for the Sun."21
Jerome, let me assure you that what we are discussing here has nothing to do with the vulgarized type of astrology that one encounters in newspaper horoscopes. I fear that many, who have been pre-programmed to close their minds to anything that sounds like
astrology will not be able to appreciate the beautiful truths which our wise ancestors of thousands of years ago, wanted to convey to us, about the progress of the soul. Those who have perverted these Signs into a mere system for fortune telling, must bear the responsibility for
closing the minds of many people to God’s higher truths. Since our forefathers went to considerable trouble to describe in symbolic language, the hoped-for progress of the soul through the twelve stages of growth, it behooves us to learn the ancient method of Initiation.
The next time you are in London, it would be well worth your while to go see the beautiful clock which Lord Bracken had constructed on the front of Bracken House. Lord Bracken was the friend and confidant of Sir Winston Churchill. Where the hour numerals should be, he had the
twelve Signs of the Zodiac engraved in gold. It is probably the most beautiful Zodiac in Europe. The only one that comes close to it, would be the lovely Zodiac horlogium in St. Mark’s Square in Venice.
We who live in the modern era, fail to appreciate the dire need of our ancestors to know when to plant their crops and when to watch for flood seasons. The people of the Pacific ocean were able to travel vast distances over the ocean by observing the stars. Does it not seem
strange that countries so far apart as Egypt, China, Polynesia, India, Greece and Israel, indeed, every nation on earth, possessed a form of the Zodiac, picturing many of the same animals as today’s version. Some countries have obviously changed the symbols somewhat to
accord with their own understanding of Life’s mysteries. Yet, originally, there was a special Knowledge contained within the Signs of the Zodiac.
Our word ‘Zodiac’ comes from the Greek word ‘zodiakos’ which means ‘a circle’. The Greek word ‘zoad’ means ‘a Way; a Path; a Progression by Steps’. And this word is derived from ‘zoa’ which means ‘living creature’, such as the animal Signs in the Zodiac, while ‘zoe’ means ‘to live’. Four of the Zoa are referred to in John’s
Apocalypse. The Greek word ‘teletai’ which is used in Initiation, implies some kind of a death experience, a finish or an end. It is usually translated in the Authorized Version as ‘mature’, ‘complete’ or ‘perfect’. When used in association with the Mysteries, the last rendering is more appropriate.
Unfortunately, as mankind entered the Modern Era, we have turned away from the Wisdom of the Elders to pursue petty personal kingdoms and the illusion of materialism. It is vitally crucial for us to re-establish the teachings and practices of Initiation used by the Ancient Order, for the good of all mankind, since the vast majority of men are ‘asleep’ in
their illusions and delusions. Without the sacred science of Transformation, they will die in stagnation, never advancing beyond the stature of the ‘average man’. Indeed, it is not in the interest of the Demiurge to have men evolve beyond a certain level. As Solomon wrote,
". . . He has set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the works of God, from the beginning to the end."22 Mother Nature is satisfied to have men follow her order of birth, life, labor, procreation and death. It is only through the process of self-Knowledge that man is
able to become a single Unity. Until such a time, he remains like the demon possessed man, who has a ‘legion’ of false egos in himself, some of which are truly demonic.
THE MESOTERIC INTERPRETATION OF THE ZODIAC
To understand the Zodiac mesoterically, we must allow the shining Constellations of the Zodiac to become a spiral that moves clock-wise. The mesoteric level, which I will not dwell on at length, deals with the gradual evolution of the entire human race over periods lasting just a little
over twenty-one hundred years each. Just as individuals have their passage rites through the Twelve Signs, so too do national groups and countries; indeed the whole planet. On that spiral, we are just now leaving the Age of Pisces and entering the Age of Aquarius. This does
not mean that the human race will automatically attain Divinization. No, we must assist this process or it will not be achieved. As the Apostle Paul wrote, "The whole Creation groans and travails in pain together until now."23 "For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the Sons of God."24 These are those individuals who
have attained Union with the Supreme. When a sufficient number of these persons achieve this state, it will climax in what is known as the "Restoration of all things", referred to in the Book of Acts.25 In other places, Jesus referred to this event as the "lifting up of the Universe".26
It may come as a shock to many Christians, but Jesus gave careful instruction to his advanced disciples on the subject of re-incarnation. He taught that individuals are re-incarnated over many lifetimes, progressing in one lifetime but perhaps slipping back in the next lifetime. There is a
passage in Jeremiah, which the Essenes loved. It reads: "Moab has been at ease since his youth and has settled on his lees. He has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither has he gone into captivity. Therefore, his taste remains in him and his scent is unchanged."27 In a
literal sense, this refers to the process of making wine from grapes. The crushed juice is emptied from one vessel to another until the sediment settles. It could be ‘poured out’ from one bottle to another several times before being finally placed in a bottle for fermentation. The Essenes
understood this passage to refer to the process of re-incarnation, as souls are poured from one body into another until they are either Perfected or they settle permanently into a lesser state of development.
Jesus used this expression, using the same sense, when he spoke to his disciples: "But they have not known suffering as you have. Neither have they experienced changes from region to region, nor have they torn themselves away so as to be poured into various kinds of bodies as you have."28
We do not argue with those Christians who deny the teaching of re-incarnation, but I can tell you that some of the advanced brethren, including certain Rabbis, have the ability to see the past lives of those with whom they come in contact, by examining the lines on a person’s forehead.
AN EXOTERIC INTERPRETATION OF THE ZODIAC
For the purpose of understanding the Zodiac exoterically, we must imagine its spiral moving in a counter-clock-wise manner. Then, we must divide it into four sections, with three Signs to each section. Then, we must let each section of three Signs correspond to an ideal period of
Nine years in the life of a human being. The first section will contain the Signs Aries (the Ram), Taurus (the Bull) and Gemini (the Twins) and will correspond to the first Nine years of a child’s development - in particular - his muscular development. This does not mean that he will
cease to grow in coming years, it just means that by his Ninth year, he should be in full control of the organs of his body - his arms, legs, muscles and bowels.
The second section will consist of Cancer, Leo (the Lion) and Virgo (the Virgin), bringing the youth to his eighteenth year, which should see his emotional development fairly well advance. (We’ll return to what each of the Signs represents, a little later.) The third section comprising Libra (the Balances, Scorpio (the Scorpion) and
Sagittarius (the Archer) would bring a person to his twenty-seventh year. This section corresponds to his mental development, but again this does not mean that he will cease to mature mentally as he grows older, it means that by age twenty-seven, the mental constructs that he will live with for the rest of his life, will be in place and for better or worse, will be difficult to change.
The fourth section of the Zodiac, containing Capricorn (the Goat), Aquarius (the Water pourer) and Pisces (the Fishes) brings a person to his thirty-sixth year of life and corresponds to his hoped-for spiritual development. The sad fact of the matter is, the majority of
mankind fails to attain the spiritual levels of maturity represented by these last three Signs. However, if an individual has had the assistance of a gifted teacher or spiritual adviser, who understands the Mysteries and human nature, he will, in the final stages of Initiation have gained
Harmony and Health for his physical being; Peace and Order for his emotional self; Wisdom and Power for his intellectual self and Love and Joy for his spiritual self. With love, I am your father, Jeffrey Brackeen
ON THE SACRED MYSTERIES AND THE SCIENCE OF INITIATION
1. Pp. 339-341, VII, The Complete Gospel Of Jesus Christ, Edited & Compiled by Jeffrey Brackeen
2. Pp. 34-44, VIII, Ibid.
3. Phil. 3:14
4. I Cor. 15:41
5. II Cor. 3:18
6. The Dead Sea Scriptures, As Translated by Dr. Theodore Gaster, Doubleday and Company, Inc, Garden City, N.Y.
9. Matt. 14 & 15
10. Mark 6:39,40
11. Ephesians 4:11-16
12. I Cor. 12:28-31
13. Acts 14:22,23, Heb. 13:17, James 5:14
14. Acts 6:1-6
15. Rev. 1:6; 5:10
16. I Cor. 4:8
17. I Cor. 12:7-11
18. Rom. 12:4-8
19. See Josephus, Wars of the Jews, V, 5.4,5; 214, 217
20. Psl. 147:4
21. Psl. 19: 1-4
22. Eccl. 3:11
23. Rom. 8:22
24. Rom. 8:19
25. Acts 3:21
26. See The Complete Gospel of Jseus Christ
27. Jer. 48:11
28. Philip’s Books of the Saviour, as found in the Complete Gospel of Jesus Christ, chap. 24:274