In chapter four, the author of the Apocalypse describes the throne119 in terms of five components. These are a rainbow of light (iris), twenty-four elders (presbyteroi), seven breaths or spirits (pneumata), a sea of glass (thalassa hualine) and four living creatures (zoa). The literalists have pictured these elements in the form of a fantastic royal chamber, rather pagan in appearance, from which their anthropomorphic deity surveys his realm. What they have failed to realize is that here is yet another riddle, the solution of which forever puts an end to their "theology."

Faculties and Correspondances

We can resolve the riddle of this apparently baffling conglomeration of symbolical elements into a simple diagram, which will serve as a key to decoding much of the symbology of the Apocalypse. We shall thereby place it firmly in its rightful place as a textbook of psychology and remove it from the shelves of religous superstition and theological nonsense where it has been used to justify the most outrageous claims imaginiable.

From previous chapters we know that the apocalyptic throne and the energy body are one and the same. If we simply combine figures #8 and #10 which are diagrams of the energy body in terms of its faculties and abilities we shall have a reliable diagram of the throne.

The resulting combined diagram of the throne (see figures #11 and #12) consists of seven concentric circles. These circles correspond to the seven abilities. They also represent seven planes of existence and their many subplanes, whose complexity does not concern us here. All of these planes may be understood simply as states of consciousness (the chakras) and the modalities (tattvas) through which they find manifestation.

Faculties and Correspondances

We read that "out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunders and voices..."120 These we can readily identify as the seven abilities.

Considered in the aggregate the abilities constitute the substance of the energy body. They do so both in a material and nonmaterial sense, since their various energies operate in both subtle and explicit manners simultaneously.

Consequently, the abilities in all their many differentiations of energy form a complex "rainbow round about the throne."121 This beautiful symbol represents what I have been calling the rainbow of consciousness, and also the spectrum of energy associated with consciousness as it actualizes in the phenomenal realm.

The abilities energize the chakras and for all practical purposes are synonymous with them. As a result, the abilities may be understood as states of manifesting consciousness. Hence, in the description their modes of expression (the modalities or tattvas) are called "seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits [or breaths] of God."122

Our combined diagram possesses four quadrants to represent the four domains of phenomenal expression of consciousness. You may recall that these four are: sensation, feeling, intuition and thinking. The four quadrants also signify the faculties and somatic divisions of the body to which they correspond.

These quadrants are the "four living creatures full of eyes before and behind."123 These four are described as being like a "lion," a "calf," a "man" and an "eagle flying" (which we may here understand as a substitute for the scorpion).

As you may know, these four icons symbolize the four quarters of the zodiac. In the aggregate, the twelve signs of the zodiac symbolize all of the faculties and the abilities of consciousness.

The four quadrants also represent the four apocalyptic beasts. These are, of course, the false prophet, the red dragon, the beast and the lamb. The quadrants further depict the mental operations to which these animal symbols correspond.

You will recall that these four mental operations are: the sensory motor mind, memory, intuitive insight and discrimination. They correspond to sensation, feeling, intuition and thinking respectively.

Furthermore, the four quadrants of our diagram represent the four horses or sheaths of the psyche. And finally represent the mysterious "four horns of the golden altar"124 which I shall explain in due course.

The Apocalypse further describes the four living creatures as having six "wings"125 apiece. These various wings correspond to the twenty-four segments generated by a division of the six inner circles of the diagram into quadrants.

We can identify these twenty-four wings as the twenty-four apocalyptic "elders."126 These symbols simply represent the specific agencies of the operations of the four phenomenal expressions of self consciousness. They operate throughout the energy body, and are depicted as six planes or generalized states of conscious activity.

In the domain of sensation, or the physical sheath, these six specific agencies of psychic expression may be identified as the physical correlates of the seven chakras and the various organs associated with them. The six agencies may also be identified with the cerebrospinal and the sympathetic nervous systems which interconnect the several organs. The correlations are not simply straight forward, but are somewhat condensed. They are depicted in figure #13, which serves as a key to decoding much of the apocalyptic symbology.

The seventh and undivided circle of our diagram represents the "sea of glass like unto a crystal."127 This beautiful symbol simply corresponds to the nonphenomenal expression of consciousness, the subtle faculty of inspiration, the integral sheath and the aura.

This seventh and nonphenomenal realm of expression does not simply encompass the other four. It both penetrates and forms the ground or field within which they exist.

Key to Apocalyptic Terms

The completeness, the clarity and the elegant beauty of this ingenious apocalyptic throne could hardly be improved upon. Taken as a whole, the relatively simple diagram depicts the creative energy of consciousness, the pneuma/parakletos, as manifesting in the human being in all its mysterious and majestic splendour.

This harmonious and holistic event understood in its fullness is the true meaning of the term "spirit." It represents the dynamic fullness of the activity of human consciousness!

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