Pythagoras and the Philosophy of Number (3 of 5)
Part 3: The Divine Family: Father, Mother, Child
J) Mahamaya, Mother of the Buddha
In our previous article on Pythagorean philosophy (Part 2), we concluded with a discussion of the Hindu Trimurti: the three-faced Godhead that exists at the foundation of India’s ancient brahmanic wisdom teachings.
Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva personify the creative triad of Hindu religious philosophy. They describe God’s three active, creative powers, with a) Brahma personifying the manifest Spirit of creation, b) Vishnu its Soul, and c) Shiva its form-generating power, governing the building, preservation, and destruction of bodily forms.
While the triune Godhead of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva is widely recognized as the foundation of ancient Hindu religious thinking, it is not actually the primary Trinity of their creation myth. Rather, the Trimurti is considered a secondary aspect of Deity, one that emerges only after the initial emergence of a rmore primordial Trinity, one that involves the initial emergence of Brahma from Brahman.
What is left out of the creative triad of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva is reference to creation’s feminine, receptive principle. In Hindu terminology, this feminine principle, which is like “Yin” to the Trimurti’s “Yang”, involves the mystery of Mahamaya, the Mother-Goddess.
Mahamaya is often referenced simply as Maya, though differences may be discerned between the two: Mahamaya being the higher octave or higher spiritual principle of Maya, which often is connoted with matter, material existence, and illusion.
Matter and illusion are byproducts of Mind, but do not alone encompass Mind in all its varied aspects. In its highest state, Mind is comprised of an extremely subtle quality of Matter, one that interfaces closest with the domain of pure Spirit or Brahma.
Mahamaya personifies Mind or Soul as it exists and operates on the most subtle and spiritual plane of Matter.
As feminine principles of creation, Mahamaya and Maya are Yin in quality, meaning they are passive or receptive in nature. By contrast, the Father and Child principles are “Yang” in that they are actively manifesting their consciousness and experiencing creation.
Mind plays host to creation, receiving the active, creative motion of both Consciousness and Self, Consciousness being the greater, Self the lesser.
In Hindu mythology, Mahamaya is considered a “shakti” or “female consort” of Brahma, while Maya is considered the same for Vishnu. This sexualization of principles references the dynamic relationship that takes place between creation’s Yin and Yang or feminine and masculine principles.
The Yang principle sounds out the Word of creation, the Yin principle receives that Word and converts it into a living Universe of evolving life forms.
k) Law, Mother of the Self
Before creation takes place, when God resides solely in the condition of Unity, Yang and Yin are not differentiated; there is only Oneness.
For creation to take place, Consciousness must “step itself down” from at-one-ment with Law. In other words, Yang and Yin must separate: Self (Yang) must “leave home” and remove itself from complete identification with Law (Yin).
In this way, the first step of creation takes place when the differentiation of Yang from Yin occurs. Here, Mind emerges out of unified Consciousness in order to partition Self from Not-Self.
This partitioning signals Self’s falling into a relative degree of ignorance pertaining to its full knowledge of and identification with the Law. The higher aspects of Law that Self “forgets” become hidden within the mystery of Not-Self.
Only by differentiating itself from its opposite (Not-Self; Matter) does the Self gain the context necessary for Self-Experience. But the cost it pays for making this differentiation (of itself from the Not-Self) is that at least a portion of the Law’s full extent and workings become hidden from the Self.
As a price it pays for its own self-existence, the Self must fall into a relative state of ignorance concerning the highest wisdom of the Law. Consequently, the Self becomes enmeshed within the matrix of Matter. Meaning: it has accepted the false belief in the Not-Self and as a consequence has become trapped in this self-made illusion.
Maya’s traditional association with the Self’s fall into “illusion” is based the idea that Matter or Maya is a downward reflection (i.e. secondary consequence) of Self’s perception of Not-Self.
As long as the Self holds firm in its belief in the reality of the Not-Self, it will remain attached to at least some aspect of Matter or Maya and therefore the fullness of Mahamaya (the Law) must remain concealed to it.
The acceptance of illusion or Maya is a necessary aspect of Self-existence, however. Without it, Consciousness could never be able to become individualized into the formation of Self-consciousness.
The Law’s higher, transcendent aspects - the ones hidden from the knowledge of Self - are concealed behind the “Veil of Maya” - i.e. behind the veil of the Self's acceptance of “Not-Self”. Only by transcending the perception of Not-Self - thereby penetrating the boundaries of Self-existence - is consciousness able to regain full identity with the Law and “lift Isis’s Veil”, so to speak.
4. The Tetrad
The Self is inherently a threefold being. Intellect exists as a fourth state or condition that emerges alongside this threefold Self. This fourth condition was called by the Pythagoreans "the Tetrad”, which symbolized to them Law’s rulership over material creation.
At root, the Divine Intellect represents the Mind’s capacity to differentiate and partition undefined, absolute Consciousness into a bound and localized experience of “Self”. This partitioning takes place by means of Law, implying that Self is a lawful creation of the Divine Intellect.
The Intellect’s primary function is to organize and guide the Self's creative engagements with Matter. This it does from within (or behind) the veil of Matter itself.
Intellect should therefore be understood as an administrating power of Deity that rules over creation, governing it from “beyond the Veil”
It is here, at the level of the Tetrad or Intellect, that the complete set of intellectual numbers are unfolded, spanning from the Monad to the Decad.
Throughout the duration of universal creation, the vast hierarchy of evolving life forms existing within the Universe are born, die, and reborn again, always in relation to the fixed presence of this Divine Intellect.
The Divine Intellect or Tetrad is an imminent and eminent guiding presence that, when listened to and followed, leads the Self toward the completion and fulfillment of its own existence (toward Self-actualization, in other words).
The Self, as it evolves its Body and Soul over the course of its great cycle of creation, does so by following the Plan and guidance of the Divine Intellect.
At this level of pure Intellect, the grand plan or Archetype of creation is created and preserved for re-discovery by the Self. This rediscovery takes place as the Self overcomes its attachment to Maya or Matter, thereby transcending the illusion of the Not-Self.
It is beyond the realm of the Not-Self or Matter where the deeper mysteries of the Law are concealed.
Seeking Enlightenment, the Self must eventually evolve its consciousness toward the realization of Unity. Th only way it can do this is by incrementally moving beyond the illusion of Maya or Matter, which is rooted in the designation of Self from Not-Self.
Once this duality has been transcended, the Self experiences Nirvana: which is conscious re-identification with Law.
From the perspective of Self, the Intellect resides within the domain of Not-Self or Matter, which exists as a fourth state outside of the trinity of inner principles (Spirit-Soul-Body) that the Self identifies with.
In other words, Mahamaya, personifying the Intellect, is experienced as “Not-Self” by the Triad of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva.
This higher domain of Intellect is the Mother of the Self - or as the Buddhists say, the “Mother of the Buddha”. Here, this Mother principles represents a sublime spiritual state of Being whose existence is within creation but which transcends Self-existence.
In sum, the Intellect is the basis of the Tetrad. It represents the principle of Universal Intelligence that is ever-present within creation. As such, it is ever-available for the Self to listen to, follow, and eventually become one with.
The Self manifests itself across three domains of existence - Spirit, Soul, and Body - which exist in relation to this Fourth state, the Intellect. Given that Self is masculine in nature (it is actively manifesting its being), the Intellect can be thought of as his feminine “shakti”, receiving Self’s threefold creative energies and converting them into embodied life forms.
Intellect is a feminine or Yin power inherent to Matter. This power is that of Law as an ever-present factor within Matter. This Law receives and guides the masculine, creative energies of the Self and converts them into a Universe of growing and evolving embodied life forms. These life forms are born and extend across Four dimensions or worlds of material existence, the level of pure Intellect being the first and highest of these four worlds.
l) The Four Worlds
The Cosmic Mother or “Divine Intellect” contains within it the entire plan and pattern for the Self’s lifecycle of existence.
This Divine Plan is initially conceived by Intellect on the first and highest plane of Matter (Mahamaya) before becoming internalized by the Self across all three domains of its Being: Spirit, Soul, and Body.
As the Self internalizes “the Mother’s” Plan, it makes it objective by enlivening it within its own consciousness. Intellect receives this injection of consciousness and forms it into a material expression: a universal form designed according to the Intellect’s initial blueprint.
This universal form exists within Matter and is partitioned into three domains of being, each residing on its own specialized plane of material existence: Spirit, Soul, and Body. These become the three material Worlds of creation which are embedded within a Fourth, that of pure Intellect.
In total, there are Four overlapping domains, planes or “worlds” of manifest existence, with the three lower existing in relation to the first and highest, which is the Divine Intellect or Cosmic Mother: the first, highest, and greatest of the set.
The highest plane of the four planes of material existence is that of the Absolute, which in this case corresponds to Brahman and Mahamaya - the Father-Mother principles of creation. It is here, at this primary level of existence, that the archetypal Plan for Self-Consciousness is first conceived.
The second-highest plane of existence is a Spiritual one corresponding to Brahma. Here, the Plan for Self-existence begins to be actualized. It is on this Plane that the apex of Self-existence can be found. For consciousness to go beyond this plane and reach the Absolute, the boundary of Self-existence must be pierced.
The third of the four worlds is a Soul plane corresponding to Vishnu. This plane is polarized between two states of expression, one higher and one lower. The higher, spiritual pole of the Soul is predominantly Yin or receptive in nature and is termed the “anima” or “spiritual soul”, while its lower, material counterpart is predominantly Yang or active in nature and is called the “animus” or “animal soul”.
The last of the four planes or worlds is the dense, material, earthly domain of the Body. This plane is administered over by, on the one hand, Shiva, the Soul’s lower, animus aspect, which is involved in the building of material forms, and on the other hand by the Intellect, which is ever-present within Matter. For this reason, the feminine, Mother principle is forever guiding Shiva’s impulses into creative directions, ones which serve the long term destiny of the Self, which only the Mother truly knows.
m) Shiva, the Demiurgus
Note that the threefold creative powers of the Self - personified in Hinduism as Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva - require the pre-existence of a domain of Not-Self or Matter for their expression.
The Self’s ability to express its own inner powers and potentials depends upon Matter’s existence as a counterposing state.
It is within this domain of Matter, which is also the realm of the Not-Self, that the Divine Intellect is concealed. This principle of Intellect, which the Pythagoreans called the Tetrad, represents Law’s rulership over material creation.
Shiva, the Hindu deity representing the World Soul’s form-building, animus principle, was given the name “the Demiurgus” by the Greeks. In the ancient Sanksrit language, this same principle was termed “Manas”.
Being the builder of material form, Shiva or “Manas” is the aspect of Self most directly involved in material creation. As a masculine principle representing the Soul’s animus aspect, Shiva actively generates three qualities of energy: one creative, one preservative, and one destructive. These three qualities of energy, which are active or yang in essence, are projected into Matter, which is Yin in essence.
Being receptive in nature, Matter receives these energies and converts them into form. This it accomplishes through the quiet, guiding presence of the Intellect (Mahamaya) which guides and directs the masculine creative energies of Shiva so that they inhabits and vivifies a Soul-pattern that the Intellect has designed and numerically encoded within Matter.
In this way, Intellect - the Cosmic Mother - exists within, behind, and throughout Matter as its higher spiritual parent. Residing in its own rarified state above and beyond Matter (which is what “Mahamaya” literally translates to), the Mother exists the Supreme Intelligence of the Universe.
Given that Shiva (i.e. the “Demiurgus) is masculine in nature (the animus) and Mahamaya is feminine (anima), then it follows that the animus is intended to follow the leadership of the anima and not vice versa.
By implication, cosmically we live in a matriarchy, with the feminine principle reigning Supreme over manifest creation.
The Self or Christ principle, representing the World Soul, exists always in relation to this greater Cosmic Mother, who guides and nourishes this Soul as it grows and develops through Time.
The matrix of Time and Space that the Self exists within is symbolically the Womb of the Mother. It is also the Womb of the Mysteries, for it is by becoming entangled in the matrix of Matter that the Self is initiated into a higher state of Wisdom and Enlightenment by the Cosmic Mother.
In sum, the purpose of Manas or “Lower Mind” is to build and evolve the Universal form into the perfect material representation of its own Archetypal Design - a Design that was first conceived and fashioned by the Divine Mind in the beginning of time.
As it follows the Plan of the Divine Mind or Intellect, Shiva or “Manas” extends the consciousness of Self into the plane of Not-Self or Matter. It does this in order that it may build an unfolding sequence of forms or bodies.
All bodily forms that Shiva fashions sum together to form the World Body. This Body exists as a receptacle to receive and express the indwelling energies of the World Soul and World Spirit.
The Intellect’s final, archetypal Design for creation will be brought into complete realization within the world of Matter at the final end of Time and not before then. Until then, life is a process of moving toward the attainment of this final pre-destined end-state.
In the course of Time, it is Shiva’s mission to build an ever-more perfect World Body, one that will serve as a perfected vehicle for the expression of the Intelligence of the World Soul and the Wisdom of the World Spirit.
It is Shiva's purpose to evolve the World Body, through its power to build, preserve, and destroy forms, toward a state of final, complete, and balanced expression - where every power and potential available to the Self is expressed in its fullest and most complete form within its own specialized bodily vehicle.
Shiva is the divine power responsible for bringing the grand project to completion. He is the Great Builder, with the Divine Intellect or Cosmic Mother serving as the Great Architect guiding his efforts.
n) The Cross of Matter
As Manly Hall explains “the Quaternary (4) represents the Cross upon which the Logos (3) is crucified.”
Referencing back to the ancient symbol of the dot-in-the-circle - with its three elements of the dot, the circumference, and the line forming an interval between them - we can image a fourth stage emerging in the form of a Cross, which extends out from the central dot in four directions to divide the circle into four quarters (i.e.a Quaternary).
In geometric terms, the addition of this fourth factor or point in relation to the triad of principles constituting the Self forms, on the level of a surface, a Square, and on the level of a solid, a Tetrahedron.
Here we see that geometric form emerges as the fourth stage of the creation process. As discussed above, the emergence of this Quaternary is associated with the principle of Intellect.
Creation begins with the dot, moves to the line, becomes the surface, and then, with its fourth step, extends to become a solid. These four stages or steps are what is necessary for the Mind to generate the Universe as a material creation.
In this manner, material creation is patterned according to a Quaternary design. This Quaternary design is a reflection of the four stages required for the Mind to extend its reach from the abstract, immaterial state of the Intellect (the point) down to the dense, material realm of the body (the solid).
When the Intellect designs creation, it does so according to a plan of Four.
According to the Cabalists, creation takes place across Four Worlds, which become objectified in space as the four cardinal directions: North, South, West, and East. Esoterically, Four is also associated with the mystery of the Tetragrammaton: the Four-Letter Name of God. For example, in ancient Hebrew, the name of Jehovah, the lord of material creation, is written with four letters (JHVH).
Furthermore, alchemy conceives material creation as arising from the chemistry of four primary elements: Air, Fire, Water, Earth. These four elements are associated with the Soul’s emanation of body, which in manifestation extends across four auric fields: one physical, one vital, one emotional, and one mental.
To the Pythagoreans, Four symbolizes not only material creation, but more specifically the rulership of Law over material creation.
It is the function and purpose of the Divine Intellect to ensure the sovereign authority of the Law with creation. Through the invisible, guiding hand of the Intellect, the Universe is manifested as “the amphitheater of Law.” Here, all beings are born into Law, exist by means of Law, and are being guided toward a final destiny specified by Law.
In the world of form, all souls must come to learn and obey Law. They must abide by its rules or perish by result. For this reason, Four is the symbol of Law’s rulership over creation: it represents the administration of justice and order over the world of material form.
As Manly Hall describes it, Being or Consciousness is “an infinitely evolving power growing up in infinite space”. It evolves by continually realizing or actualizing its own infinite potential.
The Self’s potential for self-expression and growth is established by the Intellect, which conceives the Self’s archetype or master design. This design - this ontological blueprint - becomes actualized by the Self gradually over the course of Time as it grows and matures into self-realization.
In this way, the initial Plan or Archetype conceived by this Intellect becomes the "Law of Existence” for the Self, dictating how its evolution is destined to take place and unfold. The Law “sets forth the boundaries of a geometry in which creation can occur” and “reveals to Deity the maximum of its powers, giving the Ancient One its life system and sequence.”
In sum, Law is the true architect of creation. Through Law (the Cosmic Mother; Mahamaya), the framework for Self’s existence and destiny is established.
Spirit moves into Matter to create Form by referencing a numerical, mathematical, and geometric design template or “archetype” that has been pre-established by Law.
Deity moves according to Law, which regulates and coordinates all movement within the field of Space. God, existing in space, must obey Law. Therefore, Law is the supreme Good.
o) The Divine Intellect (recap and summary)
To recap: the Self emerges as a three-fold being who exists in relation to a counterposing domain of Not-Self. This Not-Self is actually the Cosmic Mother: the Divine Intellect who embodies the Law within Creation.
The Self’s growth and evolution is ensured as long as it keeps to the “Mother’s” (i.e. Universal Intelligence’s) Laws (i.e. to its Plan and Design).
By following the Mother’s Plan, the Self is guided along the path that leads ultimately to the final realization of its destiny and spiritual purpose: the reabsorption of its consciousness back into the unbound, undefined, eternal condition of the Absolute.
The Mother Goddess - in both her Sky (Nut) and Earth (Isis) polarities - personifies divine order, intelligence, and Law as active agencies in the Universe, ones that the Self engages with at every stage of its life journey.
The initial Plan or Design that this Cosmic Mother or the Divine Intellect conceives at the beginning of Time becomes the basis of Self’s existence.
For this reason, the Self is symbolically “born” from this Intelligence and exists as an embodiment of its Plan.
The partitioning of Unity into diversity occurs by means of a plan and pattern. The design of this pattern becomes encoded in Matter through the power of Intellect.
The Divine Plan is initially conceived by the Divine Intellect, who is often called the Cosmic Mother. Once fashioned, this Plan for the Universe becomes imprinted in Space as Law. Self then injects its life energy into space, where it gets taken hold of by the Mother and partitioned into the creation of living forms existing in Space.
In this way, the Divine Intellect partitions the unified consciousness of Self into the diverse experience of becoming many different, individual selves. While this partitioning takes place, the Intellect remains always within, throughout, and overtop, guiding the whole process, maintaining order and organization at all levels, such that a unity of Consciousness remains ever-present, binding always all parts together into one wholeness.
Through Law, parts are bound together to form a whole - the Self.
For us, this Divine Self is the Galaxy. Or, in a more local case, it is our solar system. And even closer, our terrestrial Earth ecosystem, which also functions as a whole comprised of a sum of internal parts.
Each level of wholeness is a deity or god on its on own level of existence. And each wholeness is nested within a yet greater level of wholeness, implying that each Self exists within a yet greater and more universal Self. Unities within unities: this is fundamental pattern of reality.
p) Isis, Mother of the Mysteries
The initiates of ancient civilization viewed Earth as “a Great Schoolhouse of the Mysteries in which we grow, are tried, and are tested.”
The ancients revered the maternal principle of Deity - the principle of Divine Intellect or Universal Intelligence - as the matriarch of these Mysteries and of man’s initiation here on Earth.
This maternal principles embodies the Divine Plan: once conceived at the level of pure Intellect, the Divine Plan becomes imprinted within Matter in the form of Maya or Isis, who personifies the ever-present power of Universal Intelligence here on Earth.
Within her Mysteries, the Mother “gives birth to Adepts”, who become ambassadors of her Intelligence here on Earth. These Adepts are perfected philosophers who have become “lovers of Sophia”, with Sophia symbolizing Law or Archetype.
In the West, the psychological shift from a maternalistic to paternalistic orientation coincides with the elimination of initiation as a dominant aspect of man’s cultural life.
When the doors to the Mysteries closed, the terrestrial institution dedicated to the service of the Divine Feminine - the Earth Goddess and Cosmic Mother - disappeared from public awareness.
Consequently, civilization has been dominated by a paternalistic concept of religion and social order ever since.
Through the institution of science, man rediscovers the Earth Mother, who reveals through her Mysteries the framework of cosmic Law that man must inevitably learn and obey.
It is the function of science to study and rediscover the laws behind material existence. These laws are ever-present: they are found in every domain of Nature that scientists have looked.
At every moment, physical creation embodies Law in its space and time elements. By scientific investigation into the structures, forms, and dynamics behind material creation, the workings of Law are revealed to the intellect of Man.
The Pythagoreans were philosopher-scientists: they viewed material creation as symbolic of deity’s inner “administrative” power and sought to study it in order that they may discover the inner, sacred Laws governing the Universe’s long-term evolution and destiny.
From the perspective of the Pythagoreans, in a universe that is ensouled with Spirit, to be a scientist is to study the anatomy of God.
The Pythagoreans, as scientists, studied the workings of the world in order to learn and obey the most sacred Laws of deity. In so doing, the Pythagoreans sought to discipline their body and minds so as to become perfect representations and embodiments of these Laws.
In this way, to the Pythagoreans, science was an aspect of a larger philosophy of life, one where science and philosophy are connected with religion to form a sacred trinity of human institutions.
The Mother, who was the primary Deity worshipped in primitive religions, contains within her nature the vision and plan for the final archetypal design of the Universe.
This Archetype specifies the final end-state that the Self must strive toward and evolve to become.
Only at the the end of its life cycle - at the fullness of Time - does the Self attain this final Design state. Until then, the Self is in a constant process of becoming, with the various stages of this “becoming” process indicated by the motion of Time.
Knowing the end in advance, the Mother acts as a guiding presence, gradually leading the Self along a path of self-experience that will stimulate it to grown in a certain direction, according to a pre-defined pattern.
By obeying Mother’s Law, the Self is lead peacefully along the path that will inevitably lead to the fulfillment of its destiny. But when the Self breaks this Law and moves outside of this path, then Law dictates that retribution in the form of karma must follow.
In sum, the Law or Archetype after which material creation is patterned is initially conceived and preserved at the level of the Divine Intellect.
This Intellect is a Yin or feminine power of Deity and is traditionally associated with the archetype of the Mother Goddess.
The function or purpose of the Divine Intellect or Cosmic Mother is to specify the complete design of Self’s inner and outer (i.e. psychological and physical) dimensions of being. This Design becomes embodied within Matter in the form of Law.
The Self must follow the dictates of Law, just as the child must obey the guidance of its mother.
In other words: Law is inherent to Space. Self, existing in Space, must therefore obey The Mother's laws.
q) The Pythagorean Theorem
In popular culture, most people are familiar with the name Pythagoras through his famous “Pythagorean Theorem”, which every student is taught in school as part of their basic mathematical curriculum.
The Pythagorean Theorem simply states that the sum of the square of the numbers Three and Four sum to 25, which is equivalent to the square of Five. Thus, 3 squared + 4 squared = 5 squared
Geometrically, this relationship is diagramed through Pythagoras’s famous 3-4-5 triangle (illustrated above).
In Pythagorean Philosophy, this Triad (3-4-5) is evoked to illustrate the relationship between Heaven, Earth, and Man.
These three principles are depicted in Egyptian philosophy under the triad of Osiris, Isis, and Horus, with Osiris corresponding to the number Three, Isis to the number Four, and Horus to the number Five.
As see in the Pythagorean’s famous theorem, Three, Four, and Five represent the primordial Trinity of Father, Mother, Child. Here, we find an active, spiritual principle (Osiris) fertilizing a receptive, maternal principle (Isis) in order that a World Form may be born in the image of an Archetypal Man (Horus).
Let’s go deeper into this relationship dynamic between the three members of this Divine Family.
Within the World Soul is generated the World Form. This Form, as a cumulative entity, exists in the image of a Grand Man.
This Grand Man is held as an internally generated seed-image of the Self. Within it is embedded the human kingdom, which exists as a miniature reflection of the design of the whole. The human kingdom is the microcosm of the World Form and World Soul, in other words.
The Archetypal “Man” - the World Soul - was termed by ancient Hindus “the Manu”; the Buddhists modified this term into the name “Manushi Buddha” (meaning “Human Buddha”). The Egyptians, meanwhile, called him Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris.
Horus, who the Pythagoreans called the Pentad, is the seed archetype of Man. He is also this seed archetype for the World Soul itself, as the two (man and the world) share a common Archetype in tandem.
Horus is the personification for man’s final evolutionary form. This final evolutionary form is achieved when the individual becomes, in miniature, like the World Form itself, which is its macrocosm.
Since Man is made in the image of Horus, then the outstanding individual who rises to become one with the Archetype of themselves becomes like Horus. Therefore, Horus represents the Adept Self - the Archetype of the fully enlightened man.
As we can now see, the human soul shares a special relationship with the World Soul. Each is patterned according to a common design template: the Archetype. Each is therefore subject to the same framework of Law.
Man is conceived and designed as a microcosm of Deity itself: meaning we are patterned after Deity’s own archetypal seed-image.
The archetypal design of Man is conceived initially at the level of the Intellect (Four), before being brought into generation at the level of Five, which is the Pythagorean number for the design of Man.
The Human Soul, symbolized in esoteric philosophy by the number Five, unfolds the power of deity in both its heaven and earth dimensions.
From Osiris (3), Man inherits the capacity for Self-knowing: the intuitive apperception of Truth.
From Isis (4), Man gains the power of intelligence gained through experience.
And as Horus (5), Man unites these powers together and brings the powers and potentials of each into actualization and realization within the domain of Matter.
r) Horus, the Child of Isis and Osiris
Earlier we defined the Pythagorean principle of Three - the Triad - as the Spirit of the World and the Tetrad (Four) as the principle of Intellect existing behind and within Matter. The form that this Intellect designs within the Self becomes Five (the Pentad), which represents the archetypal Man, born as the Child of Heaven and Earth.
Here we find the story of the World Soul moving to focus its powers internally so that an inner image of the Self may be generated as a material form. This internal process of image-making occurs as a great cosmic meditation taking place within the Self.
The internal image that the Self meditates into existence is in the form of a Divine Man - the Manu (or what is termed in Buddhism the “Manushi Buddha” or Human Buddha).
This Man is the archetypal Man; the Man who is the World. This is Man, Son of Mind. Or more accurately, Man, son of Wisdom and Intellect, the father-mother polarities of Mind.
In the mythology of the Egyptians, this Man is Horus, Osiris being his Father and Isis his mother. Here, Osiris and Isis represent the Self and Intellect, which together unite to create Man as Five, the World Form, made in the image of the Creator.
As MPH writes, “Man is the form which may be perceived visibly; the archetypal form. Therefore Man may be regarded as between Heaven and Earth.”
In the language of the Egyptians, Horus, personifying this archetypal Man, is made in the microcosmic image of Osiris (the World Self), by Isis (Divine Intelligence within Matter)
The Pythagoreans designated Five the number of Man. Not just Man as an individual human, but also mankind as a holistic entity: a single supersystem containing all individual humans within itself like parts in a whole.
Man, the Pentad, is the microcosm of the Self (the Triad). The Divine Mind (the Tetrad), existing in the form of Intellect, is the intermediary between the two, separating them on one level and uniting them on another.
Man exists as an individual self in order that the Universal Self may have an instrument within his creation through which He may experience His own creation.
In order to undergo this experience of Self, this archetypal Man must go through the experience of falling into ignorance before gradually regaining enlightenment through a series of internal realizations, which take place only through the attainment of self-knowledge gained from life experience.
In other words, Man’s dharma - his archetypal storyline - is for His collective consciousness to begin in a spiritual state, before then falling out of orientation with this spiritual state, becoming materialistic and ignorant in the process. Then, gradually, after much suffering, man gradually re-awakens to a remembrance its spiritual origins by going through a sequence of initiations in the temple of Isis, the Earth Mother.
At the culmination of these initiations, the Spirit in Man re-awakens to an identification with the Spirit of the Universal Self and enlightenment results.
In short, Mankind is created as a microcosm of the Creator. Our destiny is to have our consciousness cast into the depth of matter, which is really the realm of the Not-Self, thereby falling into ignorance or Maya.
Here, in this state of ignorance, trapped in illusion, the spiritual seed-consciousness in Man identifies with the individual principle of Ego rather than with the universal principle of Self, which is its true estate.
In this way, through Man, the unified consciousness of Self is extended into billions of experiences of individualized ego-consciousnesses.
Here, under the gravitational pull of billions of human egos, the consciousness of universal Self becomes ensnared.
Man’s task is to evolve itself out of this self-imposed quagmire of illusion. In so doing, man releases the consciousness trapped under his ego back so that it may re-identify with its true owner: the Universal Self. When this re-identification happens, the consciousness of Self extends down and takes control of its vehicle, which has now been prepared to become a useful instrument and servant of its greater Plan.
For a long time now, the consciousness in Man has become ensnared in the illusions of Matter. But inevitably it is our destiny to eventually rediscover our true spiritual estate. This we accomplish through the long and painful process of undergoing life experience and overcoming ignorance by gaining self-knowledge.
s) Man, Grand Symbol of the Mysteries
To review everything we covered now in Part Three, we can begin by saying that the Father and Mother principles of creation - the Triad and Tetrad of the Pythagoreans - represent the two poles of the Macrocosm: its Yang and Yin polarities.
As a consequence of these two principles first separating then re-uniting, a generative act takes place in which the Divine Self produces, through his own inner power of Intellect, an inner Self-image, which emerges in the form of an Archetypal Man
As the Mahayana School terms Him, this Man is the “Manushi Buddha” or “Human Buddha”. He is born as an internally generated image of the Self, planted as an archetypal seed within the dark soil of his lower earthly nature, where it propagates like a cell and generates out of his own inner potential the manifest being of Man.
Manly Hall explains this germination process in terms of Adam Kadma, the personification of this archetypal Man by the Cabalistic school of Jewish philosophy: “There was only one Man; he was called Adam Kadma by the Cabbalists. He is the first acorn and began as a simple unity. Now, there are millions of men but the sum of them is always Adam Kadma. He is the germ, and all fires are lighted from his altar."
Man, the Pentad, is released through the experience of growing and learning.
Through the experience of living, Man exhausts diversity of experience. When Man has experienced everything, He really has experienced one thing: the manifest life of the Divine Self.
The Tetrad or Cosmic Mother, with her Divine Intellect, fashions up the Matrix of Illusion necessary for Self to inhabit in order that this learning and growth within the Self be allowed to take place.
From Osiris, the Father of the Pentad, Man inherits the Wisdom of Spirit. This wisdom incorporates an enlightened understanding of the existence of Unity within and behind diversity. This unity within diversity is revealed through equilibrium. When one finds equilibrium, one finds the presence of Spirit.
From Isis, the Mother, Man inherits Intelligence. This represents man’s ability to attune his own lesser intellect to the greater Intellect of the Creator, so that he may think in harmony with the Mind of God. The wise man is one who is humble to the Laws of God. Therefore, the philosopher reveres the Cosmic Mother: he as a “Son of the Widow”.
These two powers of the World Soul - Wisdom and Intelligence - are synthesized within Man into a third soul power, that of Force: the ability to move and guide material energies and elements.
Man’s divine power - Force - enables his ability to become the Alchemist, the transmuter of the base metals or elements of matter into pure, enlightened, spiritual gold.
Manly Hall elaborates: “Child as Force becomes the Avenger”, who brings into fulfillment “all that is to be achieved by Father and Mother.” By implication, man’s growth “unites heaven and earth”, fulfilling the potential of each.