Isaiah prophesized that the Messiah is a descendant of David. The problem is that prophecy means witnessing, not fortune telling. This means that Isaiah saw the Messiah as David’s descendant. How so? Because David and the Messiah aren’t people, but rather cosmic and personal states of mind. This can also explain Jesus’ absurd statement: “Before Abraham was, I am!”
The literal meaning of David is Beloved. We can read that he was loved by God despite his shortcomings. David was a bit of a womanizer and even killed once to marry the woman he wanted. In the context of spiritual psychology, women symbolize desires. On the Tree of Life the sphere of desires is Netzach, the 7th Sephirah. It’s the sphere of ‘belovedness’. No wonder that David killed: compulsive desires prod us to act selfish and commit crimes. Astrologically, Netzach is associated with Nogah, Hebrew for Venus, the goddess of love.
Netzach means victory or success and David was indeed quite successful. He vanquished Goliath and united Israel’s nation*. It reminds us also of the ancient spiritual saying that every desire is a promise.
Every desire is a promise!
Considering the Tree of Life as the path of return, David is the state of mind of an aspirant on the level of Netzach, busy pacifying his desires and emotions. In the Rosicrucian system, this is the Grade of Philosophus (lover of wisdom).
The next higher grade is the Lesser Adept that corresponds to the Tiphareth (literally beauty), which is also the seat of generic humanity and the Christ-Consciousness. On the Tree of Life, one can get from Netzach to Tiphareth via the 24th path of wisdom, the imaginative intelligence.
In Hermetic Qabalah, Tarot card 13, Death illustrates this path. This spiritual death has to do with two things:
- The transformation of desires into spiritual aspiration. We often hear that we shall sacrifice desires for enlightenment, but that’s wrong. Desires shall be sublimated into love and redirected, not eliminated.
- The death of the ego (and his immature desires), who shall be replaced with the Higher Self, the Christ-consciousness
Tarot card 13 shows a white skeleton walking towards dawn and a white rose. The skeleton represents our immortal soul that walks through our string of incarnations (the river), unaffected by our personality’s blunders during planetary life. The white rose symbolizes purified desires – that’s aspiration. It also refers to the human adaptation of nature: turning the jungle of desires into a garden of delight. The Garden of Delight is the literal meaning of GN ODN, Garden of Eden.
The number 13 sheds various lights on the subject at hand. It’s the value of the Hebrew words aheba (AHBH, love) and achad (AChD, unity). Aheba signifies two unions. The first is the unification of our personality (http://godchild.buzz/our-inner-angels-and-demons). The second is the union of our personality with Tiphareth or Christ – that’s what we achieve when we cross the 24th path. And Aheba is the unconditional love that we gain once we make it to Tiphareth and resurrect Christ inside.
13 is also the value of the following Hebrew words:
- AGDH, which carries the meaning of collective unity (the union of our personality tribe)
- Gehah, GHH, medicine. It’s used in Proverbs 17.22 that hints at a unification of the body: ‘A merry heart goes good like medicine.’ Mind that hear, LB, counts 32, indicating the 32 paths of wisdom constituting the Tree of Life
- Gay, GY, valley – the valley of experience (conquering desires means learning by doing)
- Oyeb, AYB, hate or a female enemy. That’s the mess of uncontrolled desires in Netzach.
- DAGH, anxiety, grief. Desires are the root of suffering, since we always worry to lose that which we desire.
- ABY, which means he shall come (used in the phrase ‘Shiloh shall come’). This is a reference to the Messiah, Tiphareth
- Yagah, HGH, to ponder and to imagine – a hint at the 24th path again. Yagah also means to separate, to remove, and to take away, referring to anxieties caused by desiring.
Actually, achad indicates a third union as well. After the merger of personality and Tiphareth, we can also unite it with Kether. We do that by crossing the path of the Uniting Intelligence. Tarot card 2 and a virgin priestess illustrate this path. This third, ultimate union is beautifully illustrated by the Hebrew word ehben (ABN, 53). Ehben means stone, that’s the Stone of the Wise. According to Paul Foster Case, this word can be extrapolated into AB + BN, which means ‘father-son’ (Jesus: “The Father and I are one.”). This higher union requires another reversal of mind: the reversal of our religious understanding of God. God isn’t a separate, divine being in some remote heaven, who blesses or punishes people according to their behavior. God is the exact opposite: a loving Father who is closer than our heart (and brain). He never punishes us – we only discipline ourselves by creating bad karma. He is always there to help us – if we would only listen. And He’s ready to welcome us with open arms when we finally return – that’s the allegory of the prodigal son.
The stone of wisdom is God’s unconditional love for us and the promise of our inevitable happy ending. It’s the stone refused by the common, religious builder. This stone remains a stumbling stone until we turn our habit of loving upside down and change from a taker (the wish to be loved, David) to a giver (the wish to be a lover, Christ). Then, love becomes the corner stone of the spiritual temple not built with hands in which God can make its presence felt.
Long story short, David is an aspirant struggling to reversing the common way of loving. We think that most of all we want to be loved, but as Ann Davies pointed out, much more so do we want to love. And this is the difference between Jesus Christ and David. David wanted to be loved, he was a taker, but Jesus was a unconditional lover, a giver. In this context, the Messiah isn’t a descendant of David, but rather an ‘ascendant’.
All this is nicely summed up in Rev 22.16, where Jesus Christ said about himself: “I’m the root and offspring of David, the Shining One, and the Morning Star.” How can he be both, the root and offspring of David? It just depends how one looks at the Tree of Life. In the context of creation, the Tree of Life establishes itself downwards. In the context of evolution, we travel the Tree upwards.
On a side note: the Morning Star is a title of Venus (Nogah, Netzach). Jesus Christ wasn’t only an ascendant of David, but also of Venus.
Last but not least, David’s son and successor was Solomon. Solomon means ‘peace’, which resounds with Jesus Christ’s title Prince of Peace. Peace is the result of union, the fusion of desires into aspiration and the unification of personality with the Higher Self. We know Solomon as one of the wisest men of earth. His wisdom stems from the discovery of the stone of wisdom – the union with the divine.
Let’s close this post with a beautiful verse of Mahmud Shabistari, a Persian Sufi poet of the 14th century:
Go, sweep out the chamber of your heart and prepare it to be the dwelling-place of the Beloved. When you leave, he will enter. In you, void of yourself, he will display his beauty.
It is likely that Mahmud Shabistari borrowed the terms The Beloved and Beauty from Qabalah. That Sufis and Qabalists exchanged wisdom in medieval Spain is a historical fact. In Sufism, the lover is the soul and the Beloved is God. This is the same reversal of love Jesus set up as the prime rule: love God and all people with all your heart.
Picture attribution: copyright pacomartinezclavel @ pixabay.com