Symbolism Is Our Source of Knowledge
A previous consideration of the symbolism of numbers had the premise
that as knowledge increased, we also advance our ability to observe
accurately and analyze. Therefore, as we proceed along this path, we shall
eventually come face to face with some very important Rosicrucian principles
Ä that we must carefully examine ideas regarding their true merit before
There is a definite purpose for such instruction, the development of
reason, which will aid in the unfolding of spiritual sight. Furthermore, as
we achieve, there follows the realization that we have, in fact, proven to
ourselves how the 1 to 10 cycle, which has been under consideration, does
actually contain information, that life is everlasting and that we are
spirits with bodies that are but temporary dwelling places and instruments
It is widely recognized that words are but symbols of ideas, while
numbers can be shown to be symbols of divine realities, having the key to
the evolution of both man and the Cosmos, by symbolizing and illustrating
the cosmic principles back of all manifestation. Therefore, when approached
from this concept, symbolic messages may be communicated by numbers. This,
then, becomes ample reason to study and carefully evaluate this line of
thought. Gaskell's Dictionary of Scriptures and Myths contains this
Numbers become symbols because the internal universe is on a definite
and co-ordinated plan in which quantitative relations are repeated
correspondentially through different states and planes. Number is common to
all the planes and thus unites them.
The following statements are from Rosicrucian Teachings:
If our minds are occupied with such subjects as mathematics. . . we are
in the Region of purely Abstract Thought, beyond the influence of Feeling,
and the mind is directed upward towards the spiritual realms and liberation.
(Cosmo-Conception, p. 202).
The Father speaks to us in the language of symbolism, which both hides
and reveals the spiritual truths. . . . Each occult truth requires
examination from many points of view; each viewpoint presents a certain
phase of the truth. . . . Any object in the three dimensional world may, or
rather must, be viewed from all points to obtain a full and complete
comprehension thereof, so all symbols have a number of aspects. Each
viewpoint reveals a different phase from the others, and all have an equal
claim to consideration.
These statements reveal that the time has come when we must not base our
judgments on who said it, but that the most worthwhile conclusions are to be
the result of our own investigations into the facts or opinions being
presented. Therefore, efforts directed to our most reliable source of
information, the study and interpretation of symbols, become our most
desireable path. Of the many symbols to be considered, quotations found in
the Rays Magazine, printed with approval of Max Heindel, maintain that it is
Numbers that become the only absolute science. "Numbers, then, are symbols
of eternal principles, and figures are symbols of numbers."1 This, along
with Blavatsky's view that "Numbers. . . are the key to the ancient views on
Cosmogony (creation and origination of the world, or Universe) in its broad
sense, including man and beings, and the evolution of the human race,
spiritually as well as physically" gives us an interesting base from which
to continue our study of Numbers. Please understand that the objective of
these articles is to encourage the reader to carefully investigate points
being made. How can we ever expect to make accurate judgments without
investigating the subject from many points of view? To that end, in order to
have a base to investigate information symbolically concealed within the
numbers from 1 to 10, let us briefly consider a few points previously made.
The first consideration was that of the dot and circle, with the dot showing
the first activity, and the circle the extent of the influence. Within the
circle, movement is shown by the line, which reveals the movement of the dot
influence. This movement becomes the symbolic number 1.
At this point, Diagram 1 comes under consideration, where number 1 is
shown in the upper half of the larger circle. It was previously suggested
that the top circle symbolized the spiritual and the lower the physical.
Therefore, the first activity of the Creator was in the spiritual world
(Remember: "In the beginning was the Word"). Within the top circle are two
smaller that show higher or lower (positive or negative) even in the
spiritual world. The next action being in contrast to the vertical line,
number 1, is shown by the horizontal line. As a result of this division we
have number 2 becoming the number of separation, or the number of polarity.
"The unity of the number 1 is broken up into its positive and negative
aspects, with the upper representing Spirit and the lower matter."2 Another
concept is that "number 2 is a symbol of the duality of manifestation, the
One becoming Two, Spirit and matter. Also of the relative, the opposites,
higher and lower, good and evil, etc."3 With respect to the opposites,
Gaskell further states that "These are the positive and negative aspects of
qualities, without which manifestation on the lower planes could not occur.
The negative aspects imply the absence of the positive, and therefore the
illusive."4 Also is noted that once this differentiation takes place, we
have a new point to consider: "As above, so below." Therefore, with the
division shown in the upper circle, the separation into the positive (upper)
and negative (lower) becomes the basis for number 2. With this influence
extending into the lower circle (physical) we have the makings of number 3.
We are now concerned with the fourfold nature of man: body, mind, spirit
and soul. Spirit and soul from the spiritual plane has now come down into
the physical and unites with body and mind, which becomes the square, or
sometimes referred to as "four-square." At this state of development man
attained the necessary tools for return to the Spiritual World. Numbers
reveal this when we add 1+2+3+4=10, the number of completion. Revealed is
that number 4, of the physical plane, now becomes the first number to carry
As pointed out in Article 2, number 5 is the mid-point in the 1 to 10
(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10)
In this example, number 5, the number of man, is the only number that
cannot combine with another to become number 10. Therefore, this is the
reason in Genesis that Eve came into being. At this point 5+5=10. This you
will find illustrated in Diagram 1. When Eve, an opposite, is combined with
Adam, we have illustrated the circle completed on the physical plane.
With this potential it becomes very interesting to note that number 6
reveals Divine influence coming down into the physical circle made possible
when Adam and Eve became one. Revealed is that the Divine influence will
provide the stimulus that makes it possible to return to the Spirit World.
Note, that when we add the numbers 1 to 6:
(1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 = 21= 3)
The Trinity is at this point revealed, making it possible for man to see
and respond to this higher influence.
Beyond doubt, number 7 reveals the Divine influence within the lower
physical circle and extending only partially into the upper spiritual. Note
that as with number 2, there is still the horozontal, or contrast, as
emphasis is to the physical. Spiritual problems will come later.
Now that man has begun to identify some of the problems related to the
physical, it is interesting to note number 8 as the number of evolution.
Demonstrated is activity around the physical circle and then up and around
the spiritual. When, finally, man awakens to his higher potential, number 9
reveals the solution, for here we have the bottom physical circle of the
number 8 straightening out into the number 9, revealing a direct path,
upward, into the Spiritual World.
As implied, number 9 reveals a different path, as the physical circle of
the 8 has now changed into a straight line leading directly into the upper
spiritual circle. In this way is revealed the path of Initiation, with
number 8 showing the path of Evolution. All this carries implication of
definite change taking place as the path of Initiation is traveled and
becomes an inner experience that makes contact with the Spirit World a
possibility. As stated in the Cosmo-Conception, page 96, "Activity of the
spirit in the dense body, which results in right action, promotes the growth
of the Conscious Soul."
The intended purpose of this article is to point out some very
interesting correlations that tie the Rosicrucian Teachings, the Bible and
Numbers together once we have begun to understand the symbolic information
that is to be found in Numbers and symbolic writing. For example: "And the
Lord God formed man (5) of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul." (Gen. 2:7). This
takes place in the world of spirit. The "fall" came after Adam's helper,
Eve, was created. While Adam and Eve dwelt in the Garden, it was a time when
humanity was spiritual and "living" in the Spirit World. Mankind now goes
from a state of spiritual consciousness into the physical world with dense
When Cain (that part of the human consciousness which strives to acquire
and possess) killed Abel (high mental realm), it meant that the lower
materialistic mind was taking over, or another way of stating it is that man
was becoming materialistic. Since most of the stories in the Bible are
written to portray qualities within each of us, the implication is that
there are changes that must be eventually made. Now do you see that most of
humanity, at this time, is involved with the problems indicated by numbers 5
By the way, have you ever given consideration to the symbols that
identify the Earth, Jupiter and Venus Periods, found in Diagram 8 in the
Cosmo-Conception, p. 197? Here, the Earth Period is identified by a 5 with
the circle. Is not the "5" another way to reveal number 10? Then, in the
Jupiter Period we have the symbol of soul above matter. The Venus Period
that follows is identified with the cross of matter below the circle, which
implies that by that time the soul, or temple within, will have gained
control over the lower physical. Is not there a similarity of essential
There is to be found, in the Old Testament book of Ezra, an account of
how religious reform may be managed. The first verse refers to the goal
1. The word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah (religious thoughts in true
observance of divine law. Also, an exalted state of consciousness connecting
us with Divine Mind, exaltation of Jehovah) might be fulfilled, the LORD
stirred up the spirit of Cyrus (the will ruling in sense consciousness) King
of Persia (that which lies between the outer and the true inner spiritual
consciousness), that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and
put it also in writing, saying,
2. Thus sayeth Cyrus King of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me
all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house
at Jerusalem (abiding consciousness of spiritual peace), which is in Judah
(spiritual facultyÄincrease in the mental; prayer and praise).
The key verse (5) states: Everyone whose heart God had moved, prepared
to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem (abiding consciousness
of spiritual peace). Chapter 2 begins with the statements:
Now these are the children of the prince that went up out of the
captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar (human
will backing itself up by the human intellect; this brings about human
judgment which gives full attention to material subjects and feels all-
powerful) the king of Babylon (outer, sense, and confused thoughts of the
material consciousness) had carried away into Babylon, and came again unto
Jerusalem (spiritual peace) and Judah (increase of the spiritual mental
faculty), every one unto his city (higher soul activity);
Following this is a long list of the children's names and when checked
out every name will relate to some type of progress, or advancement. Next,
in chapter 3, the altar is set up, but in chapter 4, the work is hindered,
the work is suspended, then work begins again, "and the foundation of the
house of the Lord was laid." (3:11) Again, there is opposition to the
rebuilding. Isn't all this what we might interpret from number 5, which
implies living in physical surroundings. But then comes the influence into
the physical from number 6.
Ezra now comes to Jerusalem and the key verse here is that he "had
devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to
teaching its decrees and laws in Israel (spiritual consciousness)." (Ezra
All this leads up to religious reform (Ezra 10:11), the influence of
number 6. Now it becomes time for Nehemiah to "rebuild the wall of
Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." (Nehemiah 2:l7). This wall
is representative of our own individual consciousness and mind protecting
spiritual substance, which previous error thoughts cannot penetrate. Numbers
7 (Divine influence in the physical), and number 8, will take a period of
time, or evolution. But the cycle is broken and the wall is completed as we
go up number 9, into the spiritual world. With number 10, the Divine 1
stands with the 0 of number 10 (the wall has been completed). After this
completion process, number 11 reveals the new achiever working with the
Divine. Number 12 becomes the completion number
(1 + 2 = 3),
the number of the Trinity. Finally, 13 reveals activity in the World of Spirit.
The Cosmo-Conception, page 151, has a comment that will help in our
interpretation of the above account:
Evolution is "the history of the progression of the Spirit in Time."
Everywhere, as we see about us the varied phenomena in the universe, we
realize that the path of evolution is a spiral. Each loop of the spiral is a
cycle. Each cycle merges into the next, as the loops of the spiral are
continuous, each cycle being the improved product of those preceding it and
the creator of those more developed states which succeed it.
Regarding Nehemiah and his efforts to rebuild the wall:
The prophet Nehemiah (Neh. 4:1-20) is the faithful, persistent one
within us that believes in this divine possibility for man: the rebuilding
of the walls of Jerusalem, which is a symbolical description of the
reconstruction of the soul consciousness so that it will keep out negative
and error thoughts and conditionsÄthis of course results in a renewed and
1. Rays from the Rose Cross, February 1918, p. 134.
2. Key to The Universe, Curtiss, p. 82.
3. Dictionary of Scriptures & Myths, Gaskell, p. 773.
4. op. cit., Gaskell, p. 551.
5. Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, Unity, p. 476.