24. The Death of Moses

When Moses had led his people to the borders of Canaan, he felt that his task was fulfilled. What was Ieve-Elohim for the seer of Sinai? It was divine order, coming from above, passing downward through all the spheres of the universe, and realized on the visible earth in the image of the celestial Hierarchies and eternal truth. No, it was not in vain that he had viewed the face of the Lord, reflected in all worlds. The Book was in the Ark and the Ark, kept by a strong people, was a living temple of the Lord. The worship of the One God was established upon earth; the name of Ieve shone in flaming letters in the consciousness of Israel; centuries would pass over the changing soul of humanity, but no longer could they erase the name of the Eternal.

Realizing these things, Moses called upon the Angel of Death. He placed his hands upon Joshua as his successor before the Tabernacle of the assembly, so that the spirit of God might pass upon him. Then he blessed all mankind through the twelve tribes of Israel, and ascended Mount Nebo, followed only by Joshua and two Levites. Already Aaron had been "welcomed to his fathers," and the prophetess Miriam had taken the same road. Moses' turn had come.

What were the thoughts of the centenarian prophet when he saw the camp of Israel disappear, and climbed into the great solitude of Elohim? What did he feel upon letting his eyes pass over the Promised Land, from Gilead to Jericho, city of palms? A true poet, Alfred de Vigny, describing Moses' state of soul at this moment, makes him utter the cry:

O Lord, I have lived, strong and solitary,
Let me fall asleep with the sleep of earth!

These beautiful lines say more about the soul of Moses than the commentaries of a hundred theologians. This soul resembles the great pyramid of Gizeh, -- massive, bare on the outside, but enclosing great mysteries, bearing in its very center a sarcophagus called by the initiates the Sarcophagus of Resurrection. From that point, through an ascending corridor one perceived the North Star. In similar manner, from its center the impenetrable spirit of Moses looked at the final end of all things.

Indeed, all mighty men have known the solitude that creates greatness; but Moses was more alone than others because his principle was more absolute, more transcendent. His God was the male principle par excellence. It was pure Spirit. In order to inculcate it into men, he had to declare war on the feminine principle, on the Goddess Natura, on Heve, the Eternal Feminine, who lives in the heart of the earth and in the heart of Man. Unceasingly and mercilessly he had to fight it, not in order to destroy it, but to subdue, to master it. Is it then surprising if nature and Woman, between whom reigns a mysterious pact, trembled before him? Is it then so astonishing if they rejoiced at Moses' departure and waited in order to lift their heads until his shadow had ceased to cast on them the feeling of death? Such things doubtless were present in the thoughts of the seer as he climbed the arid slopes of Mount Nebo. Men could not love him, for he had loved only God. Would his work continue to live? Would his people remain faithful to their mission? Alas! The fatal spiritual insight of the dying, the tragic gift of the prophets, lifts all veils in the final hour! As the spirit of Moses became detached from the earth, he saw the terrible reality of the future; he saw the betrayals of Israel, anarchy rearing its head, royalty following the Judges, the crimes of kings staining the temple of the Lord; his book mutilated, not understood; his thought misinterpreted and disparaged by unenlightened or hypocritical priests; the apostasies of kings; the adultery between Judah and idolatrous nations; the pure tradition, the sacred doctrine, stifled, and the prophets, possessors of the Living Word, persecuted to the farthest reaches of the desert.

Sitting in a cave on Mount Nebo, Moses saw all this within himself. But already Death had spread its wings over his forehead and had placed its cold hand upon his heart. Then this lion heart tried to roar once more. Angered by his people, Moses called down the wrath of Elohim upon the race of Judah. He lifted his heavy arm. Joshua and the Levites helped him and heard with horror these words from the mouth of the dying prophet: "Israel has betrayed its God; let it be scattered to the four winds of the heaven!"

With terror the Levites and Joshua looked at their master, who no longer gave any sign of life. His last word had been a curse. Had he breathed his last breath with it? But Moses opened his eyes just once more, and said, "Return to Israel. When the time is come, the Lord will raise up a prophet like myself from among your brothers, and He will place His Word in his mouth. And this prophet will tell you all that the Lord commands.

And it shall come to pass that whoever will not harken to the words which he shall speak to you, the Lord will require it of him!" (Deuteronomy 18: 18, 19)

After these prophetic words Moses surrendered his spirit. The solar angel with the sword of fire who first appeared to him on Sinai, was waiting for him. He led him into the deep heart of the celestial Isis, upon the waves of that Light which is the Wife of God. Far from the earthly regions they crossed circles of souls of ever-increasing splendor. Finally the angel of the Lord showed him a Spirit of wondrous beauty and celestial sweetness, but of such radiance and of a brightness so overpowering that his own was but a shadow in comparison. The Spirit did not carry the sword of punishment, but the palm of sacrifice and victory. Then Moses understood that this Spirit would accomplish his work, and would lead men back to the Father through the power of the Eternal Feminine, through Divine Grace and Perfect Love.

Then the Law-giver knelt before the Redeemer; Moses worshipped Jesus Christ.


ORPHEUS: The Mysteries of Dionysus

The Great Initiates