In Seth Speaks, The Eternal Validity of the Soul, Seth describes how the Christ entity incarnated not as one but three distinct personalities – that of John the Baptist, the historic Jesus, and the apostle. This accords with references to a ‘thrice-male’ being in the gnostic gospels. Seth goes on to say that whilst John and Jesus were satisfied with the way in which they had accomplished their mission, Paul was not – and that the ‘Second Coming of Christ’ will be second coming of Paul – one which in which a Paul personality rather than Jesus will take centre stage as a new incarnation of the Christ entity. Seth tells us that the mission of the new Paul incarnation will be basically completed around 2070. That implies that the second coming of Paul may be imminent or actual. But the more important question is this - if the second Paul incarnation of the Christ Entity were here right now, what would his central message be? According to Seth:
“He will lead mankind behind the symbolism
upon which religion has relied for centuries.”
Not just religious scriptures but spiritual teachings and indeed spiritual teachers and treatises of all sorts are all symbols. So are scientific concepts and historical events, including both political events and what Seth describes as religious dramas. So indeed, is every element of our everyday lived experience. The basic understanding that the second Paul incarnation will bring with him will be the same as that of Seth – we live in a multidimensional ‘inner universe’ of awareness, containing countless planes and dimensions of awareness beyond the physical. The particular message he will come to emphasise however, is that the symbol is not the reality - that we can free ourselves to enter and enjoy that inner universe of awareness only by abandoning all ways that rely on symbolism – not only verbal symbols but even the symbolism of our own sensory or spiritual experience. In their place must come awareness itself – an expansion of the ‘free-awareness field’ out which all that we experience and think emerges. “All reflection on experience is part of experience.” (Michael Kosok). Bothexperienced reality, and the concepts and symbols through which we seek to reflect it, are themselves symbols of the inner universe– inner field-patterns and qualities of awareness. Physical objects themselves are symbols, no less than words are (see Seth Speaks, Chapter 5). There are natural, emotional, and bodily symbols as well as verbal ones. Our bodies are a living biological symbol of our own patterns, qualities and flows of awareness. Awareness is the true inwardness of both ‘the word’ and ‘the flesh’, both ‘mind’ and ‘body’, both immediate experience and its symbolic expression in thoughts and mental images.
Christ as a historic personage - a real flesh-and-blood person - was barely known in his time, but he became a symbol for the mass psyche. The Christ entity knew in advance that this would happen; that out of events he initiated (events of the sort which would hardly made the local newspaper headlines in our times), a vast historic symbolic drama would unfold from the mass psyche like the symbolism of mass waking dream. The Christ entity knew in advance that this drama would be based on a crucifixion of the historic Jesus that did not in fact take place. Paul played a crucial role in focussing on the deeper symbolism of this drama – and indeed the Christ entity had planned for this symbolic drama to unfold and serve a definite purpose in mankind’s evolution. But the new incarnation of the Christ entity and his ‘second dozen’ of disciples will simply not seek or serve the creation of a new symbolic religious drama. His message will be to “abandon your ways”. By this I understand all those countless ways in which, each and every person in this world relies on symbols to make sense of their personal experience, to guide their professional lives, to seek deeper self-knowledge or even spiritual enlightenment. They seek meaning in verbal, dream symbols, psychoanalytic and astrological symbols, corporate and brand symbols, ethnic and cultural symbols, religious and scientific symbols, spiritual and material symbols, and in the various symbolic frameworks and symbolic values associated with them.
Yet meaning cannot be found in symbols. That is because the inner meaning or ‘sense’ of a symbol does not lie in that symbol, but is only symbolised by it. Inner meaning or sense of a symbol is something that must be directly sensed. If it is, then new symbols can be found for it. But those symbols in turn will not be the meaning or sense of another symbol – but will have their own inner sense. Every symbol is like a poem or dream. You can’t put its meaning into others words or images. All you can do is create another poem, another dream. Every object and event we experience is a part of a symbolic poem or dream of our own making. Indeed the Greek poiein meant simply ‘to make’. The aim of Paul is indeed to “lead man behind the symbolism upon which religion it has relied for centuries” – not just the symbolism on which religion has relied but the personal symbols, inner and outer, spiritual and material, upon which we all rely – whether these take the form of words or works, things or people. Paul’s mission is the cultivation of our psychical or “inner senses” (Seth) as different modes of direct, symbol-free awareness and knowing. That is why, of all these ‘inner senses’, it is our felt inner sense of meaning or sense as such that is paramount. The message of my work is that symbol-free awareness is not some form of pure intellectual intuition but is innately sensual - for in its inner sensuality lies its innate sense and meaningfulness. But my words and writings too are symbols; for though their intellectual intuitions are drawn from inner sensing, these are symbolically couched in verbal concepts. We must understand that I in my work, and we in our work, are not in the business of creating yet another well-laid out path or ‘way’ for mankind - one couched in and laid out in advance by its own symbols and symbolic frameworks. For the message of Paul and of The Work is: abandon all such ways. Do not just be wary of them but ‘be-ware’ - be aware that all words and symbols have their source in a symbol-free and awareness and wordless ‘knowing’ – and are all meant to lead back to it.
How can words lead us back to gnosis however - to a wordless inner knowing free of symbols - unless we first of all establish a new relation to them? This new relation to the word has itself long been symbolised by an ancient Greek name – hermeneuein. From it was derived the Latin hermeneutica and the modern hermeneutics - meaning the art or science of interpretation. For the Greeks, however, the act of speech was already an act of interpretation or translation – the interpretation of the essential message, which was to be borne across through the word. Hermeneuein, taken literally, meant to ‘bear tidings’, or to ‘bear a message’. From this came Heidegger’s profound understanding of the essence of ‘hermeneutics’ as an “exposition that bears tidings because it listens to a message.” We hear words. But we only truly listen when we do not just listen to words but to their wordless inner sense - the wordless message they bear across. Hermeneuein then, is a symbol for a type of listening that seeks to sense what Seth calls “the wordless knowledge within the word.” This is a type of listening that not only follows but precedes the word. “Not knowing how to listen, neither can they speak.” (Heraclitus). Not only the interpreter and translator, but the poet and thinker, speaker and writer, are all called upon to listen before they speak or write – to wordlessly sense the essential message they seek to symbolise.
What applies to words applies to all manner of symbols. The injunction to “abandon your ways” itself carries a deeper message in the tonality of its intonation: “abandon your ways.” In this intonation enjoins us to abandon our ways, all the specific ways in which each of us remain attached to our own most cherished personal symbols – an attachment that both comes out of and prevents us from sensing their deeper, felt meaning and message. Such personal symbols include all the objects, events and experience that make up our lives, all our pet plans or projects, all our memories of the past and visions for the future, all the cherished books that give shape to our beliefs, and last but not least our bodies themselves – the fleshly texts in which those beliefs, past and present, are inscribed. Above all there are the myths we construct, individually and together - myths which do not derive from facts of our lives and relationships to one another but actually in-form those facts and give them the coherence of a story, text or narrative.
We have all heard the word ‘demythologisation’, and its post-modern equivalent – ‘deconstruction’. The message that such words bear is one that has to be sensed and not merely intellectualised to be fully embodied and borne across. The Gospel of Thomas begins with not with an intellectual treatise on deconstruction but with a hermeneutic message: “Whoever discovers the meaning of these sayings will not taste death.” The sayings include the following:
“The Kingdom is inside you and all around you.”
“Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up a stone, and you will find me there.”
In the film Stigmata the words “you will not find me in mansions of wood and stone” are added, referring to the organised churches and their ‘houses of god’. Which takes us back to Seth and to Paul: “As happened once before…he will not be generally known for who he is. There will be no glorious proclamations before which the whole world will bow. He will return to straighten out Christianity, which will be in a shambles at the time of his arrival, and to set up a new system of thought at a time when the world is sorely in need of one. By that time, all religions will be in severe crisis. He will undermine religious organisations, not unite them.” “…I would like to make certain points clear. The ‘new religion’ following the Second Coming will not be Christian in your terms, thought the third personality of Christ will initiate it.” “This personality will refer to the historical Christ, will recognise his relationship with that personality; but within him the three personality groupings [John, Jesus, Paul] will form a new psychic entity, a different psychological gestalt. As this metamorphosis takes place it will initiate a metamorphosis on the human level also, as man’s inner abilities are accepted and developed.”
“Knowing the time, that the hour is coming for you to awaken from sleep: for now salvation is nearer than when we first believed. Let us cast of the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. Let us walk as in daylight.”