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John's Apocalypse

New Page -- 2 February 2007

The Ninth Gate is a film by the well known director, Roman Polanski. John's Apocalypse -- this webpage -- is Laurel Whitney's continuing analysis of the movie and the book on which the movie was based. This is the seventh section of nine, in which Ms. Whitney relates the contents of the movie and book to the Qabala and The Tree of Life. The nine sections include:

The Big Picture

Deciphering the Engravings

The First Three Gates

Qabalistic Background

The Second Three Gates

The Final Three Gates

John's Apocalyspe

The Polanski Code

Appendix P

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Engravings from the book, The Dumas Club, and the movie, The Ninth Gate, can be found at An Eclectic Historian.

(6/20/9) Make that Apocalyptic Productions, for the movie version (but you will have to buy the book for the novel's version). (An Eclectic Historian is not currently on the web.)

It is strongly recommended that you print out these pages (all 18) and use them in the process of reading Ms. Whitney's essay. In addition, version of the Tree of Life used by Ms. Whitney can be viewed at: http://www.thelemapedia.org/index.php/Image:Tree_simple.gif.

A WARNING -- other than "abandon hope all ye who enter here" -- is that you might want to see the movie before reading the essay, inasmuch as the analysis pretty much gives away the plot, like who gets killed and who doesn't.




It is now believed that St. John's Apocalypse was originally composed in Greek (not just translated into Greek from an earlier Aramaic source) which may explain why some have observed that in its structure and ideas it more closely resembles the writings of the later Greek philosophers than it does the Old Testament sources of the apocalyptic tradition of the Hebrews. The most convincing and fascinating exposition of the Revelation to St. John that I have found is based on James Morgan Pryse's 1910 book, "Apocalypse Unsealed," with updating provided by Michael Wassil. A review of the Pryse book at Amazon.com gives a good short synopsis. The following is adapted from Wassil's analysis.

The writer of the Apocalypse issues his most famous challenge in these words: "He who has wisdom (the wisdom of the Greek Higher Mind, the 'nous'), let him count the number of the Beast for it is the number of man." The 'nous', a familiar term in classical Greek philosophy, referred to the Higher Mind and was considered to be the highest achievement of man. Given this clue, one familiar with Greek philosophy would automatically think of the other three of four 'somatic divisions' of the human body.

Just as Qabalists equated parts of the Tree of Life with parts of the human body, Greek philosophy (with some variations) correlated four general areas of the body with four levels of human function. These are:

1) The head/brain, the center of the Higher Mind, 'the nous'. This is the equivalent of the Tree's Ethical Triad, the realm of the Soul.

2) The heart and above the diaphragm, center of the lower mind, called 'He Phren'; equivalent to the upper two chakras of the Lower Triad, the realm of the ego.

3) The region of the abdomen, the center of the desire nature, called 'Epithumia'; the equivalent of Yesod in the Lower Triad, the ego's desire nature.

4) The procreative organs, the center of the animal instincts, called 'Akrasia'. In Greek thought this was equated with the physical body, the Tree's Malkuth.

The Apocalypse of St. John, not coincidentally, also refers to four 'beasts' which correlate directly with these four 'somatic divisions':

1) A Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes who is identified as 'Iesous'/Jesus which correlates with the 'Nous' or Higher Mind;

2) A monster resembling a Leopard with bear's feet, a lion's mouth, seven heads and ten horns; it is this monster in particular which is referred to as 'the Beast' which correlates with 'He Phren' and the lower ego/mind;

3) A Red Dragon with seven heads and ten horns who is named 'the Devil and Satan' which correlates with the ego's desire nature; and

4) A Beast with two horns like a Lamb but speaking like a Dragon, identified as the 'False Prophet' which correlates with the instinctive physical self.

Just as with Hebrew letters, Greek letters have a numerical value and the value of the sum of the letters in a word is recognized as a part of its meaning. The numerical value of 'he Phren' is 666. The value of 'Iesous' is 888. 'Epithumia' is 555 and 'Akrasia' is 333. There are other correspondences in the series: 'Epistemon' (intuitively wise) which is 999, 'Stauros' (the cross of matter on which Divinity is crucified) which is 777, and 'Speirema' (the serpent coil or kundalini force) which is 444. These are all considered in detail at Michael Wassil's fascinating website 'The Dance of Ecstasy'. For our purposes here, we will consider only the esoteric meaning of the four 'beasts'.


We Have Met "The Beast" and He is Us

The four beasts of the Book of Revelation, incorporated within their numeric context are:

999 - Epistemon, intuitively wise, the initiated, integrated Higher Self

888 - Iesous (Jesus), the Higher Mind/Ethical Triad, the upper three sephiroth in the realm of the Soul; symbolized by beast #1 the Lamb; and

777 - Stauros the cross of matter on which Divinity is crucified, symbolized by the cross on the Tree connecting the ego and Soul, whose center is Tipareth.

666 - He Phren, the lower mind, the upper two sephiroth in the Lower Triad, realm of the ego; symbolized by beast #2 called 'the Beast';

555 - Epithumia, the desire nature, Yesod, the lowest sephira in the ego realm, symbolized by beast #3 the Red Dragon;

444 - Speirema, the serpent coil or kundalini force which powers the journey up the Tree.

333 - Akrasia, the body, Malkuth, the lowest sephira on the Tree, symbolized by beast #4, the False Prophet.

I would like to point out here that on the engraving for the Sixth Gate, the designer used a form of the Greek letter Sigma which is not assigned a value in the Greek system of numbering but as the 18th letter of the Greek alphabet, is the numerological equivalent of 6+6+6. The subject of that Gate, symbolized by the Hanged Man, was the transition from the realm of the lower mind/ego (the functional equivalent of the Greek He Phren) to the realm of the Soul, whose balance point is at Tiphareth/The Heart, the part of the body which the Greeks identified with 'He Phren', 'the Beast', and 666.

In the qabalistic system, the sephira Hod/lower mind is the functional equivalent of the Greek 'He Phren'/Beast and in the engraving for the Fourth Gate, whose subject was Hod/lower mind as symbolized by the maze, we find the only other reference in the engravings to 6+6+6 as the sum of the visible numbers on the dice. That, in my personal opinion, is the symbolic equivalent of what a mathematician might call 'an elegant equation'. It is also, I suspect, the reason that the designer chose to give the Greek letter sequence such a featured place on the engravings themselves.

Just to be clear, we have just learned that the Book of Revelation identifies "the Beast of the Apocalypse" whose number is 666, the dread figure which we now call "the Anti-Christ", as the collective consciousness of the human lower mind/ego. This Beast of our collective lower consciousness is already well on its way to destroying our world and will certainly continue to do so until we disarm it in the only way it *can* be disarmed -- one consciousness at a time. If we really love and fervently desire to see peace in the world, we must continually work to disarm our own individual, internal 'Beast'. In order to do this effectively , it is first necessary to be very clear about what 'the Beast' actually is.

'The Beast' is that aspect of our being which, confronted by the 'First Gate', sees *value* only in material things and like Balkan, tramples spiritual values such as honesty and justice underfoot in its ruthless pursuit of personal wealth and power. 'The Beast', approaching the 'Second Gate' seeks to learn only what will give it an advantage over others and uses its knowledge of the powers of the animal instincts in order to stir up fear in others to turn them violently against each other, the better to control them and profit from the destruction. It hordes what knowledge it gains to empower itself at others' expense. 'The Beast' at the 'Third Gate' hardens its heart against the experience of real love because it must always be "in control" and so is not willing to make itself vulnerable to another. It is only willing to enter into relationships in which it is able to exercise unequal power over the other and use the relationship to serve its own needs without having to consider the needs of the other.

'The Beast' is unable to conceive of the possibility of a greater satisfaction in life than the accumulation of money and power and being able to use these to take unfair advantage of those with less money and power (which it calls "winning"). Because of this it will never find the exit from the 'Fourth Gate's' dead-end ego-maze of the lower mind, nor will it be able to recognize the existence of spiritual treasure which is worth infinitely more than the sacks of gold coins which it will forever continue to count and recount at the 'Fifth Gate'. 'The Beast', confined to the material world below the Veil, sees all others as either 'enemies' or rivals to be destroyed or victims or 'inferiors' who must be weakened and subjugated so that their existence serves only to increase the wealth and power of 'The Beast'.

As we each express our individual 'Beast' consciousness in the world, it is the sum total of all of this lower ego/mind energy which *creates* and *empowers* 'Babylon the Great', the collective 'Beast consciousness'. Any political, religious or social institution which could possibly be identified by the label 'Babylon' as it is used in the Book of Revelations can only exist by gaining its power from the collective 'Beast' consciousness of all of us who continue to 'worship' the accumulation of wealth and power above truth, justice, and peace -- who continue to 'worship Babylon'.

The fact that every political, religious and social institution which reflects this 'Babylon' lower ego/mind consciousness in its values, is now self-destructing from its own excess of negativity is a reflection of the fact that the time is now ripe for the promise of the Age of Aquarius to begin to bloom, the age in which the spiritual energy of the era will empower the understanding and consciousness of individual "common people" like us. It is finally time for each one of us to begin to realize that blaming "the powers that be", this cabal of corporations or that religious group or the other political ideology for all that is evil in the world, is a self-defeating mindset.

None of those entities could exist in their present form in the absence of a collective human consciousness on the same moral/energetic wave-length to create and sustain them. Every religion and every political system which exists is capable of producing some version of justice, equality and peace, provided that *the consciousness of those individuals who are exercising power within those systems is not dominated by 'the Beast'*. The 'flip-side' of this truth is that even the most ideal utopian vision will end in oppression and conflict if the power of the Beast is still controlling the consciousness of those trying to live out the vision.

It is *not possible* to defeat the Beast in an external way "out there" in the world because "Socialists" will see the powers of the Beast being exercised by "Fascists" (and vice versa), "Republicans" will see it embodied in the ideas and policies of "Democrats" (and vice versa), and many religions will see 'the Beast' at work only within *other* religions (or in those without religion) while believing themselves to be immune from such corruption (and vice versa). The end result, as history shows us, is a combination of self-righteousness, confusion, "shadow-boxing" and denial which only empowers 'the Beast' even more.


A Refresher Course on How to Defeat the Anti-Christ

The answer to this dilemma is deceptively simple and is the great moral challenge of our time. We are entering an era when we must realize that saving the world is "an inside job". Each one of us has to recognize and disarm our potential inner Beast while at the same time recognizing, honoring and empowering the potential angel within ourselves *and all others*, no matter how different from us those others may be. In a Creation as beautifully diverse as ours, there is room to accommodate *many* different visions, once the Beast is brought under control.

As the Great Soul, Mahatma Ghandi realized, "The only devils in the world are those running around in our own hearts, and it is *there* the battle must be fought." To undertake the journey up the Tree is to fight this battle on its proper and only effective ground. Only in this way can we destroy the seeds of hatred, violence and destruction which exist as potentials within each one of us *before* they can take root in our thoughts (symbolized as the "mark on the forehead" -- accepting the validity of divisive, destructive ideas), or in our emotions, our speech and our actions (symbolized as the "mark on the hand" -- acting in divisive, destructive ways as a 'vehicle' of the collective "Beast" consciousness).

Not "accepting the mark" means not being manipulated by fear of economic hardship (inability to "buy or sell") into supporting employers or other organizations which feed on and/or profit from destruction, exploitation and war. It means taking a stance of quiet, non-violent, non-cooperation with divisive and destructive agendas, whether political or religious or, as the 'winning' formula of the Beast is presenting itself to us today: those divisive/destructive political agendas *clothed in* politically co-opted, divisive/destructive/distorted religious language.

Politicians who get elected when it takes millions of dollars to run an effective campaign, only remain successful if they serve the economic interests of the few who can afford to financially ensure their success and by doing so "buy their votes". These wealthy few profit from the sale of armaments, "war industries", and stealing the natural resources of other nations under the pretense of political conflicts *at the expense of the innocent common people of other legitimate nations*. If we hope to see a more just world, we cannot continue to allow ourselves to be duped by cynical political strategies designed to divide us so that we vote against our own best interests and continue to support those who profit from human misery. It is a *spiritual* challenge to become hate-proof, to rise above any danger of being recruited into supporting the *politics of hate* which is a necessary precursor of the *politics of profit-through-war*.

This is the true function of all genuine spiritual teachings. They represent the powers of the Loving Heart and Higher Mind, the Ethical Triad, the 'Nous', 888 the Lamb Iesous/Jesus, the healing power of Divine Love which must be empowered to over-ride the instinctive drives, fears and blood-lust of the inner Beast. This must happen within the heart and mind of every individual person. None who are lovers of God can allow themselves to be persuaded by those "false prophets" who serve the Beast that war, murder and destruction can be done in God's name.

The qualities which Jesus Christ defined as "blessed" in his "Sermon on the Mount", the Beatitudes, can be read as an inventory of the only "weapons" which are capable of defeating the Beast, and every one of us can quietly and non-violently take them up:

1. "Poor in spirit" - humble before God and respecting others as equals

2. "Meek" - being an instrument of God's will first (the highest good), not your own

3. "Mourning" - due to your own spiritual shortcomings and those of the world

4. "Hungering and thirsting for justice" - not seeking unjust personal advantage

5. "Merciful" - forgiving others and so receiving forgiveness from God

6. "Pure in heart" - having simple and sincere good intentions towards all

7. "Peace-maker" - standing for true justice which is the sole foundation of peace

8. "Persecuted" - living "in Christ", you are blessed no matter what anyone says about you or does to you ("blessed" in Matthew's original Greek was "makarios", more specifically translated as "possessing an inward contentedness and joy that is not affected by outer circumstances")

If, by way of contrast, you consider those qualities which are the opposite of those which Jesus defined as"blessed", you have a list of the "weapons" of the Beast, the destructive powers of the spirit of the Anti-Christ. You can decide whether or not you want to empower this spirit by allowing your own energies to align with it:

1. Arrogantly pursuing god-like powers so that you can dominate "lesser" others

2. Using your powers to achieve your personal will at others' expense

3. Valuing the corrupt state of your Soul and the world because it empowers you

4. Desiring to subjugate and exploit others and avoid facing justice for your crimes

5. Seeking vengeance on anyone who offends you or gets in the way of your profit

6. Wicked of heart: deviously arranging for all others to lose so that you can win

7. War-maker: always trying to provoke and profit from violence and destruction

8. Refusing to tolerate criticism, much less opposition; "you can do no wrong"

These are very simple, straight-forward standards by which every sincere person may recognize and support true "righteousness" (whether affiliated with any religious system or not) and recognize, reject, and deny support to "the spirit of the Anti-Christ", no matter how much it may pretend to be "patriotic" or "holy". It is certainly not necessary to be a Christian to understand and appreciate the power of the "blessed" qualities to heal our world, or the power of the "Anti-Christ" qualities to continue to destroy it.

The coded symbolism of the LCF gates describes the qualities of the person who will be allowed to pass through them and these qualities happen to closely parallel those described in the Beatitudes. Achieving the final goal behind the LCF Ninth Gate is symbolized in the film by walking into a blazing Light. In John 8:12, Jesus said: "I am the Light of the world: he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life." Other spiritual teachings also use the symbol of Light in this way because it reflects a reality which can be experienced.

The coded symbolism of the AT gates actually describes a person who demonstrates all of the "Anti-Christ" qualities listed above. So Balkan, who also behaved in these ways, stands as a symbol for all of the misguided Souls, in high places and low, who are now in the process of passing through the AT/"Anti-Christ" gates. And how was the final goal behind the AT Ninth Gate symbolized? Destruction by fire. And how did Balkan end up? Right.

Here we should recall that the translation of the Latin motto for the Fourth Gate was "Fate is not the same for all". According to the symbolism of the engravings, as you pass through the LCF gates, you become a part of the collective Christ Consciousness, to use the Christian term. (Christ prayed, [John 17:21], "that they all may be One, even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they may also be in Us").

Still, it's important to remember that the symbolism of the "gates", like the symbolism of the Qabalistic Tree of Life, is non-denominational. Anyone who has the qualities to 'climb the Tree' or pass through the LCF gates is welcomed into the Light. The down-side of this is that if your unrepentant behavior takes you all the way through the AT Ninth Gate, no denominational label will save you from the destructive consequences of your own actions.

If, based on the quality of your own behavior, you are unfortunate enough to symbolically pass through the AT/"Anti-Christ" gates, you become a part of the collective raging-ego/Anti-Christ consciousness which is currently creating great wastelands of death, destruction and misery across our world, a consciousness which eventually becomes the final victim of its own destructive nature. Symbolically, as you pass through the AT Ninth Gate, you yourself become an Anti-Christ in the sense in which the Bible uses the word. We might even say that the spirit of the Anti-Christ is "born again" in you.

To disarm this spirit, to end the duplicity, greed, and exploitation which continually fuel war, we must each recognize and disarm our personal inner "Beast" so that we may become *harmless* to *all* of the fellow human beings and fellow creatures who share our world. We must be the first to learn to become instruments of peace and the 'leaders' will have no choice but to follow. If you have a consciousness, you have the power to begin making this change in the only place that it *can* be made, and now that you *know* that you have this power, you have no excuse for not taking it up. Now might be a good time -- if not now, when?

With the help of the symbolism in the engraving for the Ninth Gate, we have now discovered that the four 'beasts' of the Book of Revelations are comprised of the seven lower sephiroth of the Tree of Life, which are the seven 'heads' of the composite 'beast' on which The Lady Babalon, the Daughter, rides back to the Realm of Transcendent Spirit to union with the great Mother of Form, thereby restoring the Unity of the Tree and redeeming Malkuth/The Kingdom from duality. "And the wolf (Beast) shall dwell with the Lamb (Iesous)...and they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain." The source of the earlier evil functioning of the 'beasts' 666, 555 and 333 was the fact that these unbalanced lower energies were allowed to operate independently. The drives of the desire nature (333/555) and the self-serving lower ego/mind (the Beast 666) will inevitably express themselves in an unbalanced and distorted way until they come under the guidance and the polarity-balancing influence of the redeeming Higher energies of the Soul (888).

Once our journey up the Tree brings us to a point of balance and integration of ego and Soul, the former evil is overcome. The crowning achievement of this reunion is symbolized in the Apocalypse as The New Jerusalem in which the returned traveler becomes conscious of the eternal and infinite Spiritual beauty which shines through all of the finite and temporal forms of the Kingdom, confirming the declaration of the Gospel of Thomas: "The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the Earth and (most) men do not see it."


Getting Ourselves 'Back to the Garden'

Although the ego experiences the passage into Unity as darkness/unknowing, and the Soul experiences its participation in Unity as Living Light/Love ("Now I know that from darkness comes the Light"), this is not the end of the journey. There are four Qabalistic 'Worlds' which are represented in the 'Jacob's Ladder' form of the Tree of Life as extending vertically one above the next but overlapping so that the Daath of each lower world, once achieved, overlaps and becomes a passageway to the Yesod/Foundation of the next higher world. The Four Worlds, beginning with the highest, are:

1) Aziluth (The World of Emanation) - the eternal unchanging Divine world;

2) Briah (The World of Creation) - 'Heaven', the Throne of God and archangels;

3) Yezirah (The World of Formation) - the abode of the 'lower angels' and the Garden of Eden; and

4) Assiah (The World of Action) - the material universe in which we live.

In the process of Ascension, the consciousness of the man of Malkuth/The Kingdom enters into Unity at the Daath of the material universe/Assiah and emerges at the Yesod, the Foundation of the World of Formation/Yezirah, where he sees The New Jerusalem as if it is coming down from Heaven. This is the fully sanctioned return to the idyllic state of the 'Garden of Eden' but the experience this time is perceived by the individual awareness of the fully formed Soul/ego which was developed during the sojourn through the 'fallen' world of Assiah.

What was unconscious has become conscious. The fallen Daughter has risen to the Throne of Binah and become the Bride of Wisdom, wedding the Earth of Assiah to the Heaven of Assiah and at this point all of the sephira of the Tree of Assiah are integrated into One. Symbolically, the sky recedes like a scroll rolling up, every mountain and island is removed from its place (Rev. 7:14), and there is a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away (Rev. 21: 1-2) and the holy city, The New Jerusalem, comes down out of heaven from God, so that God's dwelling place could be with men (Rev. 21:3). It must be understood that this is an *internal* revolution of consciousness which happens "in the twinkling of an eye", and results in a radically different *experience* of the world, with no external, physical upheaval required.

In the old world of Assiah, the only contact with the Heaven of Briah was at Assiah's very highest Transcendent sephira, Kether, whose Supernal Light the human Soul could only receive brief glimpses of. In the new World of Formation of Yezirah, The center of the realm of the Soul at Tiphareth overlaps/is identical to the Malkuth of Briah (the 'Kingdom' of 'Heaven') and the Daath of the new world, once attained, is the passageway to the Foundation sephira of the Heaven of Briah, abode of the archangels and the Throne of God. This symbolism is another way of saying that the Divine Light of God will shine through the forms of The New Jerusalem, just as the light blazes out of the castle in the genuine LCF engraving of the Ninth Gate.

And where is Balkan? You might remember that after the Fall, the Garden was guarded by cherubim and 'a flaming sword'. Until Balkan freely chooses to submit his ego to union with his Soul and completes the journey through the upper paths of the Tree of Assiah, the way back to the Garden is barred to him. If he should make an illicit attempt to gain access to the Divine Light through the inadequate vehicle of his unredeemed ego, what the Soul experiences as Light will be experienced by the unredeemed ego (the ego unescorted by Soul) as Fire, as the AT engraving of the Ninth Gate and Balkan's fiery fate in the movie so graphically illustrate.

There is one last question to consider. Balkan clearly played the role of the failed magician to illustrate the fate of those who attempt to use the energies of the Tree to serve the lower desires of the ego. But what roles did Corso and 'the girl' play? Some final speculations follow, in Section VIII, The Polanski Code - Corso's Run.

Note: In addition to making comments and suggestions via the Feedback mechanism for this website, one can also make comments directly to the author, Laurel Whitney, at hesper79@uneedspeed.net. Comments worth sharing with others may be included in The Ninth Gate Commentaries.


Ha Qabala

The Ninth Gate

The Final Three Gates

Forward to:

The Polanski Code

ORME         White Powder of Gold         Star Fire



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