Monday, January 28, 2008

The Tower

PD Ouspensky: Symbolism of the Tarot

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I saw a lofty tower extending from earth to heaven;
its golden crowned summit reached beyond the clouds.
All round it black night reigned and thunder rumbled.
Suddenly the heavens opened, a thunder-clap shook
the whole earth, and lightning struck the summit of the
tower and felled the golden crown. A tongue of fire shot
from heaven and the whole tower became filled with fire
and smoke. Then I beheld the builders of the tower fall
headlong to the ground.

And the voice said:—-
"The building of the tower was begun by the disciples
of the great Master in order to have a constant reminder
of the Master's teaching that the true tower must be built
in one's own soul, that in the tower built by hands there
can be no mysteries, that no one can ascend to Heaven by
treading stone steps.

"The tower should warn the people not to believe in it.
It should serve as a reminder of the inner Temple and as a
protection against the outer; it should be as a lighthouse,
in a dangerous place where men have often been wrecked
and where ships should not go.

"But by and by the disciples forgot the true covenant
of the Master and what the tower symbolized, and began
to believe in the tower of stone, they had built, and to
teach others to so believe. They began to say that in this
tower there is power, mystery and the spirit of the
Master, that the tower itself is holy and that it is built for
the coming Master according to His covenant and His
will. And so they waited in the tower for the Master.
Others did not believe this, or interpreted it differently.
Then began disputes about the rights of the summit.
Quarrels started, 'Our Master, your Master,' was said; 'our
tower, your tower.' And the disciples ceased to
understand each other. Their tongues had become
confused.

"You understand the meaning here? They had begun
to think that this is the tower of the Master, that He
builds it through them, and that it must and, indeed, can
be built right up to Heaven.

"And you see how Heaven responded?"

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