Online gathering on

Esoteric Christianity II
Join us to explore the Esoteric Christian heritage of Rome, Ravenna, and Venice…
May 13 – 18
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Join us for another week-long online workshop on Esoteric Christianity. We will meet for six consecutive days to explore the inner meaning of the Christian teaching, how it was structured on the Old Testament, how it was designed to complement and complete it, and how it highlighted fundamental truths about human psychology. We will anchor our lessons in the mosaics of Rome, Ravenna, and Venice. Each session will span two hours with an intermission, and will conclude with a practical exercise for the following day. The group’s verifications will lay the groundwork for the next session. The meetings will be recorded and made available for viewing afterwards. Read more below:

At the root of the doctrine upon which the Christian religion is founded there was placed almost the whole of the previously existing great teaching, now called Judaism… The great founders of the Christian religion changed only its outer details to conform to the degree of mental development of the contemporaries of Jesus Christ.

George Gurdjieff

Responding versus Reacting

Prefiguration is the act of showing or suggesting that something will happen in the future. Each case of prefiguration we encounter in the Bible effectively compares two lessons while drawing a line of progression from one to the other and establishing an improvement from one generation on another.

The first case we will examine is the Annunciation. Mary’s conception of Jesus is prefigured in Sarah’s conception of Isaac. Both are announced by an archangel and both defy the laws of physicality. Mary is a virgin and Sarah is beyond childbearing age.

However, Sarah and Mary respond differently to this announcement. While Sarah laughs incredulously, Mary assents to the responsibility given to her through Gabriel’s message. In this way, the two stories convey opposite scenarios showing how we might face a moment of divine intervention. We might reject it reactively or absorb it responsively.

Annunciation by Pietro Cavallini

Annunciation by Pietro Cavallini | 1291 C.E.

The impressions octave is very powerful and may have an enormous meaning in relation to self remembering, states of consciousness, emotions and so on.

Peter Ouspensky

Detail of the Magi

Detail of the Magi | San Vitale, Ravenna | 540 C.E.

The Lower Centers

When Jesus is born, wise men from the east come to worship him. Over time, the story evolves so that the wise men become three kings, sovereigns of the three continents of the known world: Africa, Asia, and Europe. If the rulers of the known world came to bow down before a newborn king, this implies that he surpassed them in rank. In this way, the Magi’s visit established the role of Christ as the king of kings.

The three-part nature of the world appears in the Bible long before the Magi’s visit. Noah’s three sons survive the flood and repopulate the earth, each seeding a separate continent. The three-part world is also mirrored in the three-brained structure of the human being, with its moving, emotional, and intellectual center. Just like different nations, the three brains do not cooperate by nature. Their perceptions, priorities, attractions and repulsions compete and contradict each other. Establishing inner unity requires subjecting them to a single governing element. Hence, the birth of Jesus, and the Magi’s acknowledgment of his superiority, symbolizes subjecting our three centers to a Master.

George Gurdjieff

One must with all his presence have an aim and work for this goal. Not with one part, one center only. Our presence has no aim. You have an aim only with one center (he wants to arrive at Paradise with dirty boots).

George Gurdjieff

A Higher Task

Jesus’s baptism marks the beginning of his ministry. From this moment onward, he starts teaching, calling his disciples, and fulfilling his redemptive mission. Moses begins his ministry when God reveals Himself to him from the burning bush. In both instances, the prophets are not only officially called by God, but also entrusted with a task.

We will examine the nuances of these two episodes, their similarities, and how they exemplify the challenge of establishing internal government. Moses will redeem the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. Jesus will redeem the scattered members of the House of Israel and reestablish their covenant with God. Both embody the roles of a Steward who frees Essence from the grip of False Personality and brings it under the management of a Master.

Moses and the Burning Bush

Moses and the Burning Bush | San Vitale, Ravenna | 540 C.E.

It is only through a feeling of something higher that you can separate from something lower, and after a time, when you have experienced what this means, you will do everything you can to keep the feeling of something higher alive in you at all costs and you will begin to hate those periods in which you are totally identified with external things.

Maurice Nicoll

Maurice Nicoll
Day 4 of the Creation

4th Day of Creation | San Marco, Venice | 13th c. C.E.

The Laws of attaining Inner Unity

Freeing Essence from Personality and establishing inner government follows strict laws. There can be no shortcuts. False Personality will not easily give up its sovereignty, so a struggle must ensue. The Genesis Creation myth outlines some of these laws and lays the guidelines for all the stories to follow.

In spite of being the Son of God, Jesus is not above these laws. Since he incarnates into the world, he must function according to its rules. He, too, must comply with the laws established in creation if he is to redeem the lost Paradise. We witness the practical consequences of this by juxtaposing the seven days of creation with the Via Dolorosa. Through methodical effort and payment, Jesus repeats the process of Creation and redeems Essence from False Personality.

Rodney Collin

The token of a true cosmos is in fact a particular kind of design, referred to in the Book of Genesis in the phrase ‘God created man in his own image’ This ‘divine image’, the characteristics of which we must study in detail, can be found on all levels, and is the hallmark of a cosmos.

Rodney Collin

Sacrificing Illusion

According to the rules laid down in the Genesis Creation, redemption must involve sacrifice. This sacrifice is portrayed in the stories of Isaac and Jesus.

The one prefigures the other; Isaac carries the pile of wood that will light his own funerary pyre and Jesus carries the wooden cross upon which he will be crucified. However, there is a significant difference between these two: Isaac is ultimately spared. An angel stops Abraham at the very moment he is about to slay him, and replaces Isaac with a ram. Jesus, on the other hand, lays down his life to fulfill the redemption.

We will compare these two stories to learn more about the role of sacrifice in our work.

Abraham's Sacrifice San Vitale

Abraham’s Sacrifice | San Vitale, Ravenna | 540 C.E.

You will find even outside school that if you want to do something you must not do some other thing; in other words, you have to pay for everything, not in the sense of taking out money and paying it out, but by some kind of ‘sacrifice’… In that way it will involve all your life.

Peter Ouspensky

Mosaicos de San Vitale | siglo VI CE

Abraham Sacrificing Isaac | San Vitale, Ravenna | 540 C.E.

The Sex Center – the Fifth Center

The function of our physical body is further subdivided into a moving and instinctive center. Establishing inner government requires that these two centers, along with the emotional and intellectual centers, be brought into harmony and submission. When this occurs, the resources that were formerly siphoned off by them indiscriminately, become available for creating a separate entity, a Master.

The main resource wasted by the indiscriminate functioning of our lower centers is sex energy. This idea is incorporated into Abraham’s story. He is born named ‘Abram’. God adds the letter ‘ה’ (the fifth letter in the Hebrew alphabet) to his name only after he fulfills the commandment of circumcision. Acquiring this fifth letter designates bringing the four lower centers into harmony and submission, freeing the energy of the fifth center for the creation of a Master.

In this last session of our online gathering, we will read the play ‘Abram’ that will be rehearsed and performed during the Venice gathering.

George Gurdjieff

If a man brings the work of the five centers within him into harmonious accord, he then ‘locks the pentagram within him’ and becomes a finished type of the physically perfect man.

George Gurdjieff

Online Gathering on

Esoteric Christianity II
Join us to explore the Esoteric Christian heritage of Rome, Ravenna, and Venice…
May 13 – 18
Sign Up