Let us now study the Twenty-second Arcanum of Kabbalah. This Arcanum is the Crown of Life.
Revelation 2:10 states:
Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
To find faithful people in these studies is difficult. All those who enter into Gnosis want to develop occult powers immediately; this is grave. People believe that the path of the realization of the Inner Self is like playing football or like playing tennis. People have still not learned how to be serious. Commonly, people enter into these studies with the longing of acquiring powers within a few months. However, when they realize that they need patience and hard work, they then desperately leave in search of another school. Thus, this is how they waste their life away, fleeing from one school to the next, from one lodge to another, from institution to institution until they get old and die without ever having achieved anything. Thus, this is how humanity is. One can count those who are truly serious and truly prepared for the practical Adepthood, on the fingers of the hands.
Beloved disciples, you need to develop each of the twenty-two major Arcana of the Tarot within yourselves. You are imitatus, or rather, one who others have put on the Path of the Razor’s Edge. Exert yourself to become Adeptus, one who is the product of one’s own deeds, the one that conquers science by his own, the child of one’s own work.
Primeval Gnosis teaches three steps through which anyone who works in the flaming forge of Vulcan has to pass. These steps are as follows:
It so happens that curious people who enter into our Gnostic studies want immediate illumination, astral projection, clairvoyance, practical magic, etc., and when they do not achieve this, they immediately leave.
No one can achieve illumination without having been previously purified. Only those that have achieved purification and sanctity can enter into the hall of illumination. There are also many students that enter into our studies purely out of curiosity. They want to be wise immediately. Paul of Tarsus stated:
We speak wisdom among them that are perfect. - 1 Corinthians 2:6
Therefore, only those who achieve the third step are perfect. Only among them can divine wisdom be spoken of.
In the ancient Egypt of the Pharaohs, among the occult Masons, the three steps of the path were:
Candidates remained in the degree of apprentice for seven years, and sometimes longer. Only when the hierophants were completely sure of the purification and sanctity of those candidates could they then pass them to the second step.
The first faculty that the candidate develops is the one related with the degree of listener, the faculty of clairaudience (occult hearing). Indeed, illumination begins only after seven years of apprenticeship. Nevertheless, students believe that spiritual faculties are going to be immediately developed, and when they realize that this subject matter is serious, they flee. This is the sad reality; this is why in life it is very rare to find someone who is prepared for Adepthood.
The Crown of Life
The Innermost is not the Crown of Life. The Crown of Life has three profundities and these are beyond the Innermost. The Crown of Life is our resplendent Dragon of Wisdom, our Inner Christ.
The Three Profundities
The first profundity is the origin of life, the second is the origin of the word, and the third is the origin of the sexual force. These three profundities of the resplendent Dragon of Wisdom are beyond the Innermost. The Innermost must be searched for within the unknowable profundities of oneself.
The Number 22
The three profundities of the resplendent Dragon of Wisdom emanated from a mathematical point, this is the Ain Soph, the interior Atomic Star that has always smiled upon us. The Holy Trinity emanated from this Inner Star; the three profundities will return, they will fuse together again with this Inner Star.
The number 22 is Kabbalistically added as follows: 2 + 2 = 4
The Holy Three emanates from the Inner Star, thus, the Holy Trinity plus its Inner Star is the Holy Four, the mysterious Tetragrammaton, which is Iod-Hei-Vav-Hei. Now we comprehend why the Twenty-second Arcanum is the Crown of Life.
Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. - Revelation 2:10
Blessed by the one who incarnates the Spirit of Wisdom (Chokmah); those Buddhas who do not renounce Nirvana can never incarnate the Cosmic Christ, who is beyond the Inner Buddha. Our Inner Buddha has to seek the Cosmic Christ within its own unknowable profundities. The Cosmic Christ is the Glorian, the incessant eternal breath profoundly unknowable to itself, the ray that joins us to the abstract absolute space.
Hieroglyphics of this Arcanum: the Crown of Life is amidst the four mysterious animals of Sexual Alchemy. In the middle of the Crown, Truth is represented as a naked woman who has a little stick in each hand (the priest and the priestess); this is Sexual Alchemy. We can incarnate the Truth only by working in the flaming forge of Vulcan
The Ark of Alliance
The Ark of Alliance had four Cherubim (two at each end); with the tip of their wings they touched each other and were found in the sexual position (a man and woman copulating). The (Iod) blossoming staff of Aaron, the (Hei) Cup or Omer containing the Manna, the Two Tablets of the Law, were within the Ark; these elements are four, as four is the outcome of the addition of 22 (2+2=4).
The Internal Lodge
The first duty of any Gnostic is to be sure that the lodge is protected. During the degree of Apprentice, the attention is focused on the Astral Plane. Thus, the inner lodge must be protected; the Astral Body must be clean from any type of animal passions and desire. In the second degree, the Mental Lodge must be protected. Thus, worldly thoughts must be cast out of the temple. It is necessary to protect the inner lodge very well so that doctrines, people, demons, etc. do not penetrate inside the inner sanctuary and thus sabotage the Great Work.
We have witnessed (apparently very serious) students who became careless, who did not know how to protect their inner lodge, and were thus invaded by people and strange doctrines. Most of the time, these careless students continued their work in the flaming forge of Vulcan, but they combined it with very different methods and systems. Thus, the outcome of all of this was a true Tower of Babel, a barbaric confusion whose only purpose was to bring disorder into the inner lodge of their consciousness.
Therefore, it is necessary to have the inner lodge, the authentic school of inner education, in perfect order. We are absolutely sure that only one door and only one way exist: sex. Thus, anything that is not through this way is just a miserable waste of time.
We are not against any religion, school, sect, order, etc. Nonetheless, we firmly know that inside our individual inner lodge we must have order, so that we avoid confusion and error.
This chapter is from Alchemy and Kabbalah in the Tarot (1969) by Samael Aun Weor. The print and ebook editions by Glorian Publishing (a non-profit organization) are illustrated to aid your understanding, and include features like a glossary and index. Buy the book, and you benefit yourself and others.