The One Law
From Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls
Man lives in a dynamic, constantly changing universe. There is no static point in nature. The Law manifests in perpetual change, and behind this change is a plan of Cosmic Order on a vast scale.
The teachings which Moses brought forth at Mount Sinai were practiced fifteen hundred years later by the Essene Brotherhoods in Palestine and Egypt.
To understand his teachings is to understand the values the Essene practices have for man today.
Moses was the giver of the Law, the One Law. He established the monotheism that was to become not only the fundamental tenet of the Essene Brotherhoods but of all western civilization. The most authoritative information we have about his teaching comes from their Brotherhoods.
Their tradition divides his life into three periods symbolic of the experiences in every man's life. In the first period of forty years, during which he lived as a prince of Egypt, he followed the path of tradition, acquiring all the education and knowledge available. He studied the rituals of Isis, Amon-Ra and Osiris, the Precepts of Pta Hotep, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and traditions that came from the East to Egypt, the cultural center of the world at that time. But in all his studying he found no inner dynamism or unifying principle explaining the universe and the problems of life.
In the second period of his life he spent forty years in the desert following the path of nature, studying the book of nature, as have many other great geniuses and prophets, including Jesus. In the huge vastnesses of the desert, with their solitude and silence, great inner truths have been brought forth. In this period of his life Moses discovered the One Law, the totality of all laws. He found that this one Law governed all manifestations of life, and it governed the whole universe. To him it was the greatest of all miracles to find that everything operates under one law. Then he came upon the idea of the totality of laws. And this totality he called the Law, spelled with a capital "L."
He first observed that man lives in a dynamic, constantly changing universe; plants and animals grow and disappear; moons wax and wane. There is no static point in nature or man. He saw that the Law manifests in perpetual change, and that behind the change is a plan of Cosmic Order on a vast scale.
He came to understand that the Law is the greatest and only power in the universe and that all other laws and all things are a part of the one Law. The Law is subject to no other law or laws. It is eternal, indestructible, incapable of defeat. A plant, a tree, a human body or a solar system each has its own laws, mathematical, biological and astronomical. But the one supreme power, the Law, is behind all of them.
The Law governs all that takes place in the universe, and all other universes, all activity, all creation, mental or physical. It governs all that exists in physical manifestation, in energy and power, in consciousness, all knowledge, all thought, all feeling, all reality. The Law creates life and it creates thought.
The sum total of life on all the planets in the universe was called by the Essenes the cosmic ocean of life. And the sum total of currents of thought in the universe was called the cosmic ocean of thought, or cosmic consciousness in more modern terminology.
This cosmic ocean of life and cosmic ocean of thought form a dynamic unity of which man is an inseparable part. Every thinking body of every individual is in constant inner communion with this unity. Every human being is an individualized part of the unity. This unity is the Law, the Eternal Light, of which Moses spoke.
Moses saw the Law broken everywhere. Egypt had been built without regard for it. Despite the nation's great military and political might, there was no law of equality. Misery and slavery existed everywhere; rich and poor alike suffered from oppression, epidemics and plagues. He learned that ignorance of the Law, of the laws of nature, was responsible for all evils, and that the rulers and the ruled were equally to blame.
It became evident to Moses that everything created as a result of deviation from the Law destroys itself and in time disappears. Only the Law is eternal.
The third period of Moses' life, the Exodus, began when he determined to dedicate the remainder of his days to the realization and application of the Law, and to bringing mankind into harmony with it. He recognized the enormity of the task before him in attempting to make both the ignorant masses and the arrogant rulers accept the Law and live in harmony with it. Seemingly insurmountable obstacles confront all world reformers, when pure idea meets the opposing force in the inertia of the human mind and the resistance of entrenched power. It represents a revolution of the dynamic against the static, of higher values against pseudo-values, of freedom against slavery, and it is not limited to one time in history, nor to mankind as a whole, but occurs repeatedly in the life o f individual man.
When Moses found he could not change the Egyptian rulers or the masses of the people, he turned to the small minority, the enslaved and oppressed people of Israel, hoping to convert them and establish a new nation based wholly on the Law. He is the only figure in universal history that did establish such a nation.
Moses saw the universe as a gigantic Cosmic Order in which existed inexhaustible sources of energy, knowledge and harmony at man's disposal. He had always remembered the two legends of his ancestor Jacob who had fought and conquered an angel and later had had a vision of angels ascending and descending upon a ladder connecting heaven and earth. He identified these angels as the forces of nature and the powers of man's consciousness and saw that these forces and powers were the connecting link between man and God. He identified God with the great universal Law.
He came to the conclusion that if man is to reach God, he must first become master of all the forces which are manifestations of God, of the Law. He wanted to make his people "strong with the Law," which is the meaning of the word Israel. And he wanted to create a system of life which would make it possible for them to conquer the angels as their forefather, Jacob, had done. This was the foundation of occult science as it is termed today, of the science of the angels, later recorded as angelology.
Moses wanted his followers to realize that they are in constant contact, every moment of their lives and in all points of their being, with all the forces of life and the visible and invisible universe; and if they contact these powers consciously, and become continually conscious of them, they will enjoy perfect health, happiness and harmony in body and mind and every department of their lives.
The method of contacting these forces was engraved on the two stone tablets he brought down from Mt. Sinai but destroyed when he found the masses of his people were not ready for the teaching, even as the masses of mankind are not ready for it today and may not be for many generations to come. But to the few who were ready he taught the method given on the tablets, the Communions with the angels, which has been preserved through the ages in the Essene Brotherhoods and can still be practiced by man today.
This was a part of the esoteric teaching given by Moses and practiced in the Essene Brotherhoods five centuries preceding the Christian era.
In later Essene traditions the abstract idea of the Law was conveyed by the symbol of a tree, called the Tree of Life. Moses had received a great revelation when he saw the burning bush in the desert. This represented two aspects of universal life: warmth and light. The warmth of the fire symbolized the fire of life, vitality in the material world. The light, symbolizing man's consciousness, represented the light of wisdom as opposed to the darkness of ignorance in the immaterial universe. Together they represent the whole universe and the idea that man in the center draws life and vitality from all the forces of the cosmos.
The Essenes symbolized this teaching in their Tree of Life which pictured to them in a concrete form that man was a unity of energy, thoughts and emotions and a unit of life force constantly communing with the totality of energies in the universe. Moses wished to see man living in harmony with the laws which govern all these energies inside and outside man, and to become conscious of them and utilize them in every moment of life.
In his study of the totality of the Law, Moses attained an intuitive knowledge of the origin of the world and the beginning of all things. It was from this beginning of all things he derived the laws for daily life. He learned that all things are parts of the whole, put together according to law; and the seven elements or basic forces of life appeared in seven great cycles of creation, one element in each cycle. He grouped the days of the week into a corresponding cycle of seven, considering each day to correspond to a different one of the elements. This was symbolized in Essene traditions by the seven-branched candlestick, the candles of which were lit every seventh day, the sabbath, to remind man of the seven cycles and the seven basic forces of the visible world and the seven basic powers of the invisible world of man's consciousness.
The three periods of Moses' life, in which he discovered the Law and its manifestations, represent the three periods into which nearly every man's life can be divided. The first, Egypt, has been called the period of bondage, of the darkness of ignorance, when the free flow of vital energy is obstructed by ignorance and false values. Mankind's Egypt, his slavery, consists in the totality of his deviations from the Law.
The second period in Moses' life corresponds to the desert in an individual's life when his false values fall away and he sees nothing but emptiness ahead of him. It is in this period man most urgently needs inner guidance that he may find his way back to the Light, the Law.
The third period, the Exodus, is possible for every man. There is always the Light showing the way to the exodus. Man's Egypt of bondage is never eternal. The Exodus under Moses lasted forty years, but it was only a beginning on the path of intuition, the path of learning to live in harmony with the laws of life, of nature and the cosmos. An exodus for humanity can only be accomplished through the cumulative efforts of many people over many generations.
But it can be accomplished and it will be accomplished. There is always a Canaan, which is not a mythical utopia, but a living reality. The exodus is the path that leads toward Canaan, the path that Moses trod, the path to which the Essene practices light the way.
"I thank Thee, Heavenly Father, because Thou hast put me at a source of running streams, at a living spring in a land Of drought, watering an eternal garden of wonders, the Tree of Life, mystery of mysteries, growing everlasting branches for eternal planting to sink their roots into the stream of life from an eternal source.
"And Thou, Heavenly Father, protect their fruits with the angels of the day and of the night and with flames Of eternal Light burning every way."
From the "Thanksgiving Psalms" of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Vill (viii. 4-12)
Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls