What is the Great Work?
Please put yourself in God’s shoes for a moment. You created a grandiose universe. You sit there and watch Your beautiful world and … You’re bored, drumming Your divine fingers on Heaven’s ground. Galaxies spiral graciously, solar systems tick like a clockwork, the universe expands patiently, but there are neither adventures, nor buzz.
Worst of all: You have no access to your universe. You can’t touch it, since You’re a consuming fire and the universe would go up in flames in the split of a second. How You wish to have some escapades in Your world and experience Your unlimited possibilities of being and acting.
You ponder deeply, as deep as only God can ponder, and then You come up with a plan. Yes, that’s it: You need a vehicle that allows You to live and experience planetary life.
And so, you initiate the great work: first, You create an image of Yourself that can encase Your fiery spirit, preventing it from getting in touch with the universe. You call this image human (Adam). Next, You mold for Your divine image a form from stardust that can hold it in space-time – like a multi-dimensional frame (the Second Adam). This is mankind’s universal soul that can give birth to individual souls and evolve them over many incarnations. Thereafter, You give souls a mind, a self-conscious ego, and the drive to live (the life-power that tempts to incarnate and prods to evolve). At last, You fuse soul, mind, and ego and clothe them in a physical body – a space-suit.
After all these efforts, You still face a final challenge: the consciousness and memory of the spacesuit is innocent and pure, like a clean slate – it starts from nothing. What makes matters worse is that self-awareness and memory are reset at the beginning of each incarnation. Therefore, You imbue the soul with a yearning that is carried, like a torch, from incarnation to incarnation. It burns with the curiosity about life and it’s true identity. And so, souls live, strive, and evolve, driven to know what the world and they really are.
Through many incarnations, You help – from within – Your souls to evolve. In the beginning souls aren’t aware of Your help, they confuse Your advices with Their own thought, feelings, and hunches. But as their souls age, they become more and more aware of Your Guidance from within. Eventually, they are ready to receive the blue-print for the new body, which, once built, allows You to take over personality, resurrect Yourself in it, and become a living God.
“So this thy body is the instrument
Whereon may be played the Song of Life.
Nay, it is more than this;
For on this harp of ten thousand strings,
The wind of the Spirit moveth ever,
And soundeth night and day the melodies
And harmonies of that Eternal Song.
This thy body is the Palace of the King;
This thy body is the manifested world
Of God and man;
This thy body is the seamless robe of ADONAI.
For I am thy Lord,
And the Lord and His Temple are ONE.”
– Paul Foster Case, the Book of Tokens, Epilogs, The Meditation on Malkuth