THE PATTERN ON THE TRESTLEBOARD

Translated by Rhodonn Starrus, D.D. and Betty Jean McCloud Reeves, D.D.

With annotation by John F. Gilbert, Ph.D., D.D.

ZERO All the Power that ever was or will be is here now. [ Editor's Note: All beginning quotations in this annotation are from the referenced translation. ]

If power is the sum of all energy and matter, all the energy and matter that ever was or will be is here now. We can convert this power from matter to energy and from energy to matter. But we can neither decrease nor increase the sum total of matter and energy.

Science teaches us this basic scientific principle of matter and energy. Quantum physics goes further to explain that not only can we change matter into energy and energy into matter, they're the same thing. Matter and energy are merely two different forms of power.

So what is this power that has always been and ever will be here and now? Quantum physics theorizes this power is mind power. Alchemists and Kaballists would agree. So would mystics of all religions known to me.

Mystics teach that the Divine thinks or dreams the whole creation into being. They also teach that the Divine made us co-creators -- each of us is a creator of our own lives. We are all co-creators. We are each a part of the power that always was, ever will be and is here and now.

The Divine thought or dreamed the Creation. This creation is mind-stuff expressed as matter and energy. All the mind-stuff in the creation is here now, has always been here and always will be here.

Where is here?

Pondering this question is a life-long pursuit yielding much information about the Divine, the Creation and oneself.

ONE

I am a center of expression for the Primal Will to Good which eternally creates and sustains the Universe

The Primal Will to Good is the Source, the One Thing, the Creator of all that is. Being one thing, there is nothing outside of the Primal Will to Good so far as we know. But that may not be the case.

Consider one small bacterium. The atoms inside that single bacterium, inside that single being, may be little sparks of intelligence similar to you and me. Each spark may be dreaming a holographic self that looks and acts very much like you and me.

Their holographic selves may be aware of some of the other holographic selves within the body of this single bacterium. They may be unaware of other holographic selves within the body of that single bacterium. But they are all unaware there is another bacterium. The bacteria may know each other, but the sparks of life living within each of these atoms, does not know there are other bacteria.

So it is with you and me. We live within our creator, the Primal Will to Good, and we are unaware of any other thing like our own creator.

Logic tells us that if there are other creators outside our own creator, then all of those creators reside within one Source. And all of those Sources may reside within one Consciousness, ad infinitum.

We don't know. All we know is that everything in our consciousness is a part of our Source, our Creator. And like the bacteria, we are an individualized expression of that One Thing. We are a center for expression for that One Thing. And science teaches us, that like the snowflakes, each of us is a unique expression of the Divine. We are, each of us, a center of expression for the Divine.

TWO

Through me its unfailing Wisdom takes form in thought and word.

The ancient Hebrew word for wisdom also means intentions which are based on our observations and awareness. The first part of the Pattern on the Trestleboard describes my awareness of myself as a center of expression for the Divine. This second part of the pattern explains that the Divine intention takes form in my thoughts and ideas.

This doesn't mean that the Divine tells me what to do. Far from it. The Divine gives me access to all possibilities and I become aware of some of them. My awareness depends upon who and what I am, the sum total of me as a person. Some things will always escape my awareness because of who and what I am. I will never think some thoughts because I'm uniquely me. I cannot form intentions about things I don't think about.

I also become aware of many things I have no intention of learning about, doing or becoming.

The Divine Wisdom is there for me to express myself through creating my own intentions. But when I form an intention to do or be something, I am making a decision the Divine has already created. I am now creating or doing that in my life. I either do it consciously or I do it unconsciously. Everything I do is based on my intentions.

In other words, I am limited in what I can think and intend by the Divine Mind. If there's anything out there the Divine Mind has never considered or created, I won't either. It will never occur to me because I can only express what the Divine Mind already knows.

That's one philosophy. The other is that we're all a part of the Divine Mind and, when we create something new, those thoughts and ideas become a part of the Divine Mind. Now other people can become aware of those thoughts and ideas and form intentions concerning them.

The beauty of being a unique expression of the Divine Mind is that I get to be that expression regardless of which philosophy is actually true. I get to be a unique center through which the Divine Mind can take form. That form is me.

THREE

Filled with Understanding of its perfect law, I am guided, moment by moment, along the path of liberation.

Understanding is one way of translating the ancient name for the third sphere on the Tree of Life. The basis of all understanding is the filter of our beliefs as we observe the world and our intentions. Another way of naming the Sphere of Understanding is as the Sphere of Restricting Beliefs. This is in contrast to the second sphere which can be called the Sphere of Expanding Intentions. Our beliefs limit us just as much as our intentions expand us. We do not consider the possibility of things we don't believe will help us, things we don't believe will work, things we don't believe exist.

Another interesting translation of this second sphere is The Dark Mother of all Things. The reason this is interesting is because one of the translations for the second sphere is Progenitor of all Light. In this sense, progenitor is father and light is energy. This pair, then, becomes the Father of all Energy and the Mother of all Form. Indeed this is a primary function of these two spheres.

Another interesting concept about these two spheres, the second and third, is that they are opposite poles coming from one source. This is the beginning of duality, the world of opposites. The one sphere at the top of the Tree of Life can exist alone, all by itself. But, Wisdom and Understanding, Father and Mother, Energy and Matter, spheres two and three, expanding and contracting exist because of the other. Yet, in the one Source at the top of the Tree energy and form are one and the same thing. Quantum physics has proven this to be a scientific fact, matter and energy are different expressions of the same thing.

Wisdom expands. Intentions expand. Energy expands. Sphere two is a sphere of expansion. Understanding constricts. Beliefs constrict. Form constricts. Sphere three is the sphere of constriction and the opposite of sphere two. These are some of the laws we need to understand to become liberated.

According to Hermetic philosophy we become liberated by returning to our source. This is an act of understanding the we never left the Source. We're still there and we always have been there. We are separated from the Source only by an act of will, an act of intention. Just as the spheres of Wisdom and Understanding are separated in time and space yet remain within the Sphere of Awareness, the Crown, at the top of the Tree of Life, so do we choose to separate ourselves into spheres of wisdom and understanding.

This decision, this act of will and knowledge, this act of intention and belief is called the First Creation. If you read the first part of the book of Genesis with this in mind, you'll read an entirely different story about the creation that's been right in front of our eyes for centuries. As the Master Jesus said: Let them who have eyes, see. Read it aloud to another person and remember the Master's words: Let them who have ears, hear.

The Path of Liberation is the Path of Freedom, the Path of Return. It is the opposite of the Path of Darkness, the Path of Incarnation, the Path of Manifestation. We become free as we fill ourselves with Understanding, as we know and choose our own beliefs to serve us.

FOUR

From the exhaustless riches of its Unlimited Substance, I draw all things needful, both spiritual and material. The Divine is described in both Western and Eastern literature as being omnipotent, which means the Divine is all-powerful. Thee is no power that does not come from the Divine. This power is all the energy that ever was, is now and ever will be. This power is all the thoughts, emotions, desires and actions that ever were, are now and will be.

The Divine is described in both the East and West as omniscient, which means the Divine knows every thought, every deed and everything that ever was, is now or ever will be. There is nothing about anything the Divine does not know.

The Divine is described in both the East and West as infinite, which means there is no end to the Divine's being. There is nothing that is not the Divine including matter, energy, anti-matter, anti-energy, space, anti- space, time and anti-time. All of these things and more are part of the Infinite Being.

The Divine is also described as being omni-present or imminent, which means the Divine is present in all space for all time. There is no place and no time where the Divine is not present. The Divine is within and without us.

All of these things and not-things are part of the endless riches of the Divine upon which we can draw for our life (spiritual) and pleasure (material). In other words, if we need it or if we want it, we can have it. We don't need to beg for it, it is our birthright if we follow the preceding and following instructions in the Pattern on the Trestleboard.

Pondering these things yields great fruit.

FIVE

I recognize the manifestation of the Undeviating Justice in all the circumstances of my life.

This fifth part of the Pattern on the Trestleboard refers to the fifth sphere on the Tree of Life. Each part of the Pattern refers to the same numbered sphere on the Tree. The fifth sphere is called Gevurah or Geburah in Hebrew and it is usually translated as Severity.

But this sphere means much more than severity. This is the center of expression for all of our emotions relating to fear, anger and happiness. Fear includes courage, anxiety, panic, worry, doubt, concern and all of the emotions along those lines. Anger includes peace, calm, relaxed, rage, regret, resentment, blaming, shame, guilt and all emotions along those lines. Happiness includes joy, elation, delight, pleasure, gladness, sadness, sorrow, grief, gloom, depression, despair and all emotions along those lines.

But this sphere means more than just these things. It is the place for all of the emotions we can feel because of the interactions of these three primary emotions and all of their permutations. Yes, it means Severity and Fear and Anger and Grief. But it also means, Empowering, Power, Happiness, Courage and Peace.

We feel exactly what we should feel in every situation in our life because of who we are. This is what empowers us to express exactly what we think, feel, intuit and experience in our lives. We are who we are. We attract to us things and people who support us in being who we are.

We suffer or we enjoy the fruits of who we are, what we think and what we do with our life. This is undeviating justice in all things. We are not victims or champions of the thoughts, actions or feelings of others. We are victims or champions of our own thoughts, feelings and actions. We win or we lose because of what we think, how we empower ourselves, and what we do with our life. This is undeviating justice.

We have the choice to empower ourselves or to be a martyr in life.

SIX

In all things great and small, I see the Beauty of the Divine Expression.

Beauty is the sixth sphere on the Tree of Life. It's also called Harmony, Soul Consciousness and a variety of other names pertaining to the balancing of our emotional nature. Beauty is a spiritual center that includes our heart. It's located on the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life. It's the balancing center in the World of Water.

When our emotional body is completely balanced, we're able to experience the whole range of emotions without either hanging onto them or being affected by these emotions. Our emotions move through us like waves of water in the ocean, like the sounds of music in the air. Both the air and the water experience these waves but they allow the waves to move on and are not affected by them. Thusly does the balanced emotional heart feels the emotions moving through but are not affected by them. Thus too does the balanced emotional heart allow these emotions to flow and not hold onto them.

When we are emotionally balanced we feel all things as a beautiful expression of Divine Love. We hear and see all things as a beautiful expression of Divine Love. We taste and smell all things as a beautiful expression of Divine Love. The Divine expression is unconditional love and we see this when we're emotionally balanced.

Thus the emotionally balanced Soul sees, hears and feels all things as the beautiful expression of Divine Love. Thus does the emotionally balanced human see, hear and feel all things as a beautiful expression of the Divine. From the smallest thing in the Universe to the Divine Itself, everything is a beautiful expression of the Divine.

Don't ever forget that includes you and me.

SEVEN

Living from that Will, supported by its unfailing Wisdom and Understanding, mine is the Victorious Life.

Will is assigned to the first, Wisdom to the second and Understanding to the third sphere on the Tree of Life. These are the three spheres in the World of Air at the top of the Tree. This is the world of the mind where we become Aware (Will), form our Intentions (Wisdom) and Believe (Understanding) in our ability to do what we want to do. More than that, we become Aware of and Believe the Divine Intention for us is to enjoy the abundance of life created for our benefit. This is our Victory.

The three spheres of Will, Wisdom and Understanding on the Tree of Life are Above. Everything else is Below. As Above so Below.

When we enter the seventh sphere on the Tree we are in the World of Fire. When we can bring everything in the World of Air Above into the World of Water and then into the World of Fire we are indeed Victorious. We're victorious because it was our intention to manifest the Divine in the physical.

We do that first by becoming aware, making intentions and believing we can manifest these intentions (spheres 1-2-3). We do that secondly by bringing our awareness, intentions and beliefs into the World of Water where we Lovingly Empower and Harmonize them (spheres 4-5-6). We do that thirdly by bringing our loving, empowered and balanced awareness, intentions and beliefs into the World of Fire. We enter the World of Fire at the seventh sphere, our sphere of Desire.

Our Awareness birthed our Intentions and Beliefs. These things we Empowered with with our emotions; infused with our personal expression of Loving Kindness and Harmonized them as a personal expression of everything we are. Our emotionalized Intentions and Beliefs then become our personal Fire in the center of our Desire.

More than this, when we bring Above down into the World of Manifestation, we manifest exactly what we intend and believe in our life. What we bring into the seventh sphere is what we will manifest in our physical reality. This is our victory. This is our Desire. That's why one of the names for the seventh sphere is Desire.

Anything can become a desire in us if we become aware, set intentions, believe, be compassionate, empower ourselves, and balance all these energies. Then following the further instructions in the Pattern we can manifest that which we intend and believe we can and will manifest. Pondering these things opens myriad possibilities for our life.

EIGHT

I look forward with confidence to the perfect realization of the Eternal Splendor of the Limitless Light.

Splendor is the common name for the eighth sphere on the Tree of Life. This sphere is the center for our conscious mind. Thus the other names for this sphere include Intelligence, Cognition and Consciousness. This is the center of personal imagination, memory, cognizance, consciousness, sub-conscious, imagination, inspiration and intuition.

Eternal Splendor is the Divine Mind of which our mind is both a part and a replica. The Limitless Light is another name for the Divine indicating the Divine aspect of unlimited knowledge. Light is a symbol for knowledge. The message is clear: if I do everything set forth in the previous statements of the Pattern, I will commune with the Divine. If I do these things I will converse with the Divine Mind. The phrase perfect realization means that if I do these things I will become one with the Divine Mind.

To understand what things I must do, please review the previous parts of the Pattern on the Trestleboard. They are available at Octagon News and also in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship reading section on Mysticism.

NINE

In thought and word and deed, I rest my life, from day to day, upon the sure Foundation of eternal being.

The ninth sphere on the Tree of Life is called the Foundation of the World. This is the astral world upon which the material universe is built. Modern quantum physics explains the astral world as a matrix of mind stuff. This matrix is an energy field upon which more spinning energy forms what we call matter.

If this is true, and modern science is proving more and more of the quantum physics theory, then everything we know is mind stuff. That means everything is mental energy (Air) expressed as emotions (Water), desires (Fire) and things (Earth). The source of all this mental energy is the Divine (Element of Spirit). My thoughts, words and deeds are composed of Divine Mind Stuff. So am I.

The ancient Kaballists knew nothing of quantum physics. What they knew is that when people reflect upon their own thoughts and ideas, they become energized with emotion. This is why the World of Water (spheres 4-5-6) is across the Abyss, which is also the Veil of Reflection, from the World of Air (spheres 1-2-3).

They also knew that these emotionalized thoughts can become hopes, wants, needs, desires, passions, cravings and addictions. That happens when our emotionalized thoughts cross the Veil of Ignorance and enter the World of Fire. The World of Fire is composed of three spheres: Desire (sphere 7), Intellect (Sphere 8) and Foundation (sphere 9). Other names for the ninth sphere include the Matrix, the Astral, and the Sphere of Reaction. This last name refers to the tendency of those in the physical universe to react to everything.

We trod endlessly through time and space until we decide to follow the Pattern on the Trestleboard and use this knowledge to transform ourselves into the spiritual being we are, have always been and will always be.

TEN

The Kingdom of Spirit is embodied in my flesh.

This is the great secret contained in the cryptic As Above, so Below. Everything that is Above is also Below. There is nothing Above that is not also Below. There is nothing Below that is not also Above. Everything is Mind and Mind Energy. It may look like matter and energy, but it is not. It is all Mind Stuff.

There's a great little book covering this topic called the Kybalion, which you can download from our website. http://UniversalGnostic.com/reading/mystic/. The authors of this book make a compelling argument that everything we see and hear and feel is really an illusion, a dream if you will, in the Divine Mind. The Divine is Mind, so the Divine Mind is the Divine.

The first creation explained in the Book of Genesis makes a great deal more sense if we approach it from the idea the Divine is Mind. In the first creation, the Divine created everything and everyone as an image of the Divine. If the Divine is Mind, then each of us and everything else in the creation is a mind dwelling within the Divine Mind. We're each individualized expressions of the Divine created in the Divine's own image. We're all little minds living within the Divine Mind.

So, what is my flesh? According to medical science, there is more space between the atoms in our bodies than there is space occupied by those atoms. We've known this for better than fifty years. What we really don't come close to understanding is what holds this bag of water we call a body together. Why and how does it retain the form it does?

Physical science doesn't have a good answer. Quantum physics might. According to quantum physics, the mind, and the mind alone, holds the body together. More than that, quantum physics says the body is a hologram made up of swirling mental energy. In other words, our bodies are the Kingdom of Spirit.

The tenth sphere on the Tree of Life is called the Kingdom and the first sphere is called the King. The tenth sphere is also called Manifestation and the first sphere is One Who Manifests. The first sphere is called Kether and the tenth Malkuth. It is said Malkuth is in Kether and Kether is in Malkuth.

If the Divine is Mind, and we are individualized minds within the Divine, all of this makes sense.

Thus ends the Pattern on the Trestle-board.

[ The above was written by Dr. Gilbert for Octagon News, a publication of the Octagon Society of the Spiritual Alchemy. Readers are encouraged to investigate more about both Octagon News and Spiritual Alchemy. The author expresses deep gratitude for the assistance he received in writing this material from his dear friend Rita Baker. ]

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