“12” – The Initiate, the Great Work, and the True meaning of Self-Sacrifice

In the occult sciences all single numbers (0-9) represent laws, while all composite numbers represent formulas as processes and the laws that need to be skillfully utilized in order to do them. Numbers provide us with mathematical formulas as philosophical relationships necessary for creating, all we have to do is be able to accurately decode them by interpreting them intuitively in order to apply them at the practical level. Numbers are also analogous to letters and geometric symbols, and can be intuitively discerned through the dynamic series of correspondences they form with colors, sounds, ideas, objects, archetypes, states of mind, and so on. Most intuitive realizations around an idea take place as the internal unfolding of chain-of-associated ideas. Symbols are impressed in the subconscious, which speaks the language of symbols, where they gestate and grow into endless variations based on how they’re applied.

The number 12 represents the principle of initiation as the first stage of what results in “The Great Work” as a self-facilitated process of spiritual transformation. It’s represents the stage in our life where we shed the false ego formed out of our formative conditioning where we’re completely identified with our body and personality, and shaped by others and society, allowing for the rebirth of our true self (higher self) within our body. In the Tarot (Book of Thoth) it’s represented by the archetype of the “Hanged Man”, and shows a man hanging upside down between two pillars (Jakin and Boaz), with his hands tied behind his back forming an inverted triangle, and his legs positioned to form a cross. This forms the symbol of the cross surmounting a water triangle, representing the Law of the Tetrad and Triad (4 x 3 = 12). The cross is disproportional with an elongated vertical pole, representing the Calvary cross of crucifixion. This is the symbol of self-sacrifice by surrendering your lower self (conditioned mind) to a higher power.

In the “Book of Formation” 12 is one of three “Mothers Letters”, because it’s symbolic of a new birth. It’s governed by the Element of water, which is considered the “Mother substance of all creation”. Water is considered the first mirror and reflects images upside down, as a polar or reversed image. It’s symbolic of the “reflected life”, or life as an image or form that’s produced by the primordial life substance. The Element of water is represented by an inverted triangle (pointing down), symbolizing the Law of the Triad as the imagination that’s the vehicle of the Tetrad, that’s formed as a downward, reversed reflection of the Triad. Both are formed and exist as polar reflections of each other in the “Great Cosmic Womb” of the Vesica Piscis or Dyad. The overall symbol represents crucifixion of the lower self in order to liberate the “sacrificed god” of our Higher Self, which dwells within and is what gives life to the personality.

The element of water is magnetic in nature and represents turning inward to self-reflect. It’s what the Hindu’s referred to as “prakriti”, the “Great Womb of Cosmic Substance” that’s the generatrix of all forms. The principle of the triangle represents the inner imagination and the ability to shape the fluidic-light substance into forms as thoughts turned into living entities. The images formed in the faculty of the imagination are similar to reflections formed on glass, on a dark shiny surface (magic mirror), or on water. They start as neutral tones of grey that have a ghost-like appearance, then, as they’re shaped with sensory details and attributes are grown into full color images when fully magnetized with our life-force energy. We take any word, description, or idea, and shape it into a reality in our mind’s eye. This fluid, transparent light essence that we shape into living forms using our mind, is what’s referred to as “Astral Light” that becomes a kind of metaphorical template (hologram) as our “perceptual lens” that we use for shaping the outer reality to match the inner one as a correspondence.

12 is related to 13 as the “death” of the false ego and the simultaneous end of one life cycle and the beginning of a new one. 12 is considered solar, and represents the 12 months of the solar year, and 13 is lunar, representing that a solar year contains 13 lunation’s.  A circle divided into 12 equal parts is formed out of the 13th one at the center. 12 also represents a complete cycle of manifestation as a life-cycle, represented by the 12 archetypes of the zodiac. These primary cosmic archetypes form our psychological makeup as a formula for self-creation, and are what provide us with the means for transforming ourselves by making new combinations. All qualities exist as a “whole idea” based on complementary opposites that form extremes of each other with a gradient scale connecting them. For example, fear is the opposite of courage, and courage can be used to temper fear. As we step into courage as a response to fear, we create more and more experiences of being courageous in relation to fear, and as we begin accumulating memories born out of courage, we move from one end of the scale to its opposite, transforming fear and insecurity into courage and confidence.

3 is represented in the Tarot by Daleth (Empress), ruled by Venus, as the imagination or internal formation of images, and 4 is represented by Heh (Emperor), ruled by Mars, as the actions formed out of the imagination. Venus and Mars are married to each other, and symbolize the fact that all action is born out of the imagination. Fire and Water blend together to form Air, the Element of the intellect, which culminates in the Earth Element (Tetrad-4) as our “constitution”. Our constitution is formed out of our mind and imagination and determines all of our perceptions and actions. The Triad (imagination) and Tetrad (action) form the basis for all of reality.

While we tend to think that our lower self possesses a “will” to create, the fact is the Will of the Higher Soul is reflected in the incarnate life of the personality. All perceptions of the personality are produced out of our formative conditioning which serve to structure our mental paradigm as “created by others” and external factors. The first birth of our self as our personality is formed out of a primarily unconscious state where we’re given (taught) our values, beliefs, and trained to behavioral dynamics as a part of a family unit and community that functions together as a single entity. All interpretations are made through our paradigm and the dynamics we were trained to that produce all of our natural behaviors.

The process of transformation comes by shedding the ego of our formative conditioning (lower self) through self-realization, and taking on a new perspective where we assume the position of authority in our own life as being the one that has the ability to “act on ourselves” as the means of creating ourselves. We reverse the process of referencing an outer source of power as the means of creating ourselves, and turn inward instead referencing an internal source of power as our connection to our Higher Self. We become self-referencing instead of other-referencing. We begin identifying with our true self as our higher soul. We begin walking in the world contrary to others who are still locked into the illusion of their conditioning.

Our Higher Soul (our true self) seeds our imagination with ideas that serve to organize particles of light-essence into material forms as inner sight accompanied by an internal voice of a higher authority. The ideas used by a divine authority to impregnate the imagination are ones that are not formed out of our conditioned mindset or as a result of previous experiences, but originate instead as a more universal, non-personal idea. Inner light is the “word (Logos) made flesh”, represented by the Hebrew spelling of the name of Jesus – IHShVH – similar to the Tetragrammaton (IHVH), except the principle of “Sh” is inserted in the middle. “Sh” represents “Shin”, number 20, as the soul perfected in flesh that rises from the ashes of its own death as a Phoenix. Our rebirth to a higher realm of consciousness comes through an intimate connection and identification with our Higher Self, also commonly referred to as our “Holy Guardian Angel”.

Spirit is Law, and a reversal from outer to inner self-reference, is where we begin operating to create in our life through esoteric law, which exists contrary to normal ways of thinking, speaking, and doing. Most people try to create by working in opposition to cosmic law through a fundamental lack of self-awareness and understanding. This reversal of being as an internal reference to a higher source doesn’t cause an outward opposition or form of antagonism to those still caught up in their false ego’s, because outwardly opposing something merely aligns you with what you oppose. All direct opposition stimulates and makes active its opposite, giving life to the same idea.

This reversal of directed attention is undertaken in silence as private work that’s done inwardly as an unostentatious reversal of one’s own way of life that’s combined with perfect tolerance for other people’s way of life. Once we gain the realization necessary to step outside of the conditioned mindset of our lower self, it’s easy to recognize that most are still consumed with acting out the reality they were conditioned with, and you naturally lose all need or desire to judge them or try and “wake them up” to the reality of their true self. Martyrs are those who try to deliver higher knowledge to those who are not capable of or prepared to comprehend it, and were brutally crucified by the very people they sought to enlighten.

If we look around at the state of most people and society, what we realize is that most are sick, mentally depressed, spiritually troubled, can’t get along with their self or others, and become passive in their own life while struggling internally. They’ve never formed an internal connection to their Higher Self, and live out of a constant response to external stimulation and the will being projected by others. They’ve been taught to live in contradiction to law (spirit) instead of in harmony with them. Everything comes as an expression of the Law of Cause and Effect, and the miseries they inflict on themselves comes as the result of the negative use of law. We’re creating our self in every moment of our life as a specialized application of universal law whose outcome depends entirely on whether it’s applied negatively or positively.

Practical Psychology

All thoughts are the seeds of speech and actions. Interpretations form the patterns for experience. Whatever happens to us comes as a result of what we’ve selected, whether consciously and intentional, or unconsciously as a conditioned reaction. In this idea emphasis is placed on a changed point of view as a reversed perspective. As we change our perspective, what we see changes accordingly. How we see others and life is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. As we begin seeing life in new ways, we transform our paradigm by integrating the new experiences it brings. Our entire life is formed out of how we actively employ esoteric laws as spirit. Spirit is what governs, organizes, and orchestrates material reality through active use of the 3 levels and aspects of the mind that exists simultaneously on 2 planes of existence.

Our human personality is completely dependent on the ALL as the higher power of universal consciousness (Will). As long as we live out of our conditioning and become fully identified with our personality, we remain in a primarily unconscious state, much like the lower intelligence of animals who function through instinct as a part of the group mind. By surrendering our lower self to the conscious direction of the Universal Mind, we draw all our power from above and become the vehicle for higher consciousness that brings true self-awareness. We begin creating ourselves by working in harmony with universal laws, and we begin shaping our identity through association with our higher universal self. By drawing down higher forms of consciousness that we use as the means of forming all our perceptions and activities, we become powerful creators in our own life, and engage in the process of self-creation from a fully conscious and self-aware state. By surrendering our lower self to our Higher Self, we move into a more harmonious way of being and begin creating our self to be “like god”.

The Divine Paradox

A strange paradox occurs through total submission of personal life to universal life where it makes us intensely positive in relation to others and the conditions of our environment. By transcending our conditioning and material ego, and taking on a universal and detached perspective in its place, we naturally form a very positive mental attitude. In order to have courage and perseverance in spite of seeming difficulties and disappointments, we must know ourselves to be vehicles of power to which nothing can be an insurmountable obstacle. When we no longer derive our identity out of material means, we approach every situation from a neutral stance where we can truly act as a universal force that works for the good of all involved. Our mental attitude becomes “not my will, but your will be done” through me, because we realize that they’re actually the same thing. We are the vehicle through which higher powers work in the world.

The reality created through our conditioning comes as false interpretations that form illusions in place of truth. As long as we continue to make false interpretations and delude ourselves, the inexorable laws of the cosmos work out those interpretations in ways that bring pain and suffering. Yet pain itself is friendly because it serves to educate us (Key 11 – karma). Suffering, poverty, disease, imbalance, and death, all have lessons inherent in them. These are often what lead us in our search for truth. It’s in the mysteries of death that we find the secrets to immortality. The only thing that dies with the physical body is our false ego as our soul’s identification with the personality of the body. Disciplined practice of mind control and directing our actions are necessary in order to become the vessel for higher power that ultimately transcends the lower plane of unconsciousness.

Transformative Process

Our conditioning is initially established out of our soul’s memory as our character and karma that forms all our perceptions as patterns of interpretation. These conditioned perceptions must be “reversed”. This principle is analogous to the choice of DNA, where realities are formed by whatever is made active and rendered passive, that together produce new patterns. Our souls constitution is part personality and part identity, it’s both unconscious and animalistic, and self-conscious, self-controlling, and self-determining. It’s merely a question of which perspective and aspect we employ as a means of self-creating. The mind-soul has the ability to direct the body, instead of the body-personality directing the mind. We have to decide to re-orientate ourselves to let go of karma as conditioned memory of the personality, and actively employ higher consciousness of divine law in its place.

Summary

Our constitution (4) is transformed by way of the Law of the Triad (3) that’s seeded with ideas drawn into it by the higher mind (of cosmic good) that operates flawlessly through the cosmic law of creation. The process for transformation is formulated by the Tarot, which serves as a Key for interpreting the Kabbalah, which provides us with a precise formulated process for undergoing spiritual transformation. 12 is formulated as 1 + 2 = 3 > Triad. 1 = attention that’s directed into memory (either universal as archetypes or personal as conditioning) (2) form our paradigm as filters for interpretation through the imagination (3), which uses memory as patterns of interpretation that are applied to various situations, creating more of the same type of realities as a metaphorical theme.

To change our paradigm, we have to change the memories that construct it. This is done with the creative imagination which is seeded intentionally with new ideas and perspectives to grow into new realities that are experienced within as new memory that acts to reprogram us. Concentration on laws trains the mind to operate according to those laws through the understanding of them, and we begin naturally thinking and creating by way of laws. As we learn how to apply laws practically, we learn the skill for creating our self and our life in more accurate and precise manner. We don’t need years of therapy in order to transcend our conditioning, all we have to do is realize our true nature as the very “mind-soul” that’s “producing” the reality of our conditioning, and in doing so, begin to see ourselves in a whole new light and from an entirely different perspective.

Dr. Linda Gadbois    

Linda holds a doctorate in Spiritual Sciences, and a Bachelor's in Clinical Hypnotherapy, along with numerous specialty certifications. She's a professional educator and Mentor, and offers a wide variety of Mentoring and Consulting Services, along with professional training programs. Some of her specialties include Personal Transformation, Self-Mastery, Spiritual Development, and Integrative Mind-Body Medicine. For more info visit our Personal and Professional Services pages in the top menu bar of this site, or email us at: info@drlindagadbois.com

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