The Esoteric Meaning of the Tetragrammaton

by Joshua Tilghman on March 23, 2014

Tetragrammaton_SefardiWestern religion has a terribly inaccurate and limited view of the body, soul, and spirit. Such a view has led to the church’s failure to properly portray and instruct how we advance in the kingdom of God. Jesus plainly stated God’s kingdom was within us (Luke: 17:21), and Paul teaches us that God dwells within us. We are His temple. Thus both God and His kingdom are found within us, and are both one harmonious relationship.

But what does this mean. It’s easy to quote scripture and say that God and His kingdom are in us, but how are we to really grasp this concept.

Breaking down the esoteric meaning of the Tetragrammaton can help.  The Tetragrammaton—YHVH—is symbolic of the manifestation of the Logos on the four planes below the highest. Each letter of the Tetragrammaton corresponds to one of the four planes. Let’s break down all the planes and then see how the Tetragrammaton relates to them.

As we discuss the planes below, please remember that it is through the physical plane that the outermost aspect of you is manifested while the highest planes contains the innermost part of you.

The Unmanifested

The highest and most innermost of the Self cannot be considered a plane. It cannot be expressed in words and is probably best termed as the “Absolute.” The Absolute (God the Father) is the only reality, the source of expression of the life and consciousness of the external universe with all its form/forms.

What is vitally important to understand, however, is that there is no external God. God can only be found within you, and that which is in your deepest innermost is God, for within you is also found the entire universe.

W.E. Channing, in The Perfect Life, stated:

“How little do we know of ourselves! How unjust we are to ourselves! We study everything else but the Divine Principle within our own persons…We need a new revelation—not of heaven or hell,—but of the Spirit within ourselves.”

The Celestial Plane

The Celestial plane is the first plane of the manifest God. Since it is the first manifestation of God, it is the plane of God the Son, the Higher Self, or the Christ. Jesus said the Son comes forth from the Father, just as the celestial plane flows forth from the unmanifested. Remember that we said earlier that YHVH is a symbol of the Logos outpouring to the four lower planes. From the Celestial Plane, the Christ comes forth as the Logos. By Logos we mean the “Divine creative energy” and consciousness of God. “Light” is also associated with the Celestial plane. From the celestial plane comes forth the first outpouring of the Logos (and light) and the beginning of the meaning of the Tetragrammaton.

The Spiritual Plane

The Spiritual plane is associated by the element of fire. It is also the realm of the Holy Spirit, which produces the wisdom nature, and in turn, is responsible for the higher emotion nature. Just as God the Son flows forth in the Celestial plane from God the Father, so does the Holy Spirit flow forth from God the Son into the Spiritual plane. St. Paul stated:

“…no man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3).

Augustine also stated:

“The Holy Spirit, by his influence and spiritual infusion, makes the earth conceive and bring forth the mortal Jesus [within you], who, as hanging from every tree, is the life and salvation of men.”

In other words, the Higher Self sanctifies and purifies the lower nature to bring forth the Christ-soul (Jesus). God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (wisdom and higher emotion) are both needed for this process.

The Spiritual plane (fire and Holy Spirit) is represented by the first Hebrew letter in the Tetragrammaton, the Yod (YHVH). Hebrew scholars and mystics state that the Yod’s corresponding element is fire, just as the Holy Spirit is associated with such in the Christian New Testament.

The Mental Plane

The mental Plane is actually broken into two parts, the higher and the lower. The higher mental plane is the true seat of our individuality. The higher mind acts through the higher mental plane. The lower mind, the seat of our personality and ego, acts through the lower mental plane. According to Gaskell’s Dictionary of Scripture and myth:

The Mental plane “…is the plane of the creation of the forms on the lower planes. The prototypal ideas emanating from the planes above take form in mental matter on the mental plane, and are from thence projected outwardly on the astral and physical planes; in other words, the mental forms are re-embodied on the lower planes in the matter of the planes, thus constituting the material universe.”

In the Tetragrammaton, the first Heh (YHVH) stands for the manifestation of the Logos on this plane. According to Hebrew mystics, the first Heh symbolizes the element of air. Air is also traditionally associated with the mental plane in the East.

The Astral Plane

The lower human emotional body is expressed through the astral plane. In the astral plane is expressed the animalistic side of our personality, consisting of desires, urges, passions, and impulses. In the Tetragrammaton, the Vav (YHVH) stands for the manifestation of the Logos on this plane. Its elemental association is water. In the East water has always symbolized the astral plane and desire. Also in the east this plane is called Kama, meaning “desire.”

The Physical Plane

Not much needs to be said of the physical plane. You experience it directly every day through the senses. Hebrew mystics state the last Heh (YHVH) in the Tetragrammaton stands for the element of earth, or the physical realm.

The Meaning of the Tetragrammaton in Context

Now that we have gone over all the planes, what does YHVH really stand for in context of the scripture? Most Christian scholars believe that Elohim (God) stands for God’s universal aspect, while YHVH stands for God’s special relationship with his people Israel. This is true within the scriptures, but these same Christian scholars fail to understand the esoteric meaning of an Israelite, and so fail to put the Tetragrammaton in its greater significance. An Israelite is someone who has disciplined him/herself mentally by dedication to the things of the spirit. Hence, an Israelite can be found within any race or ethnic group. A careful reading of the Torah shows God’s mercy extended to even the Egyptians who wanted to travel with the Israelites and so discipline themselves under YHVH (by Moses’ Law). Thus YHVH is used for God’s special relationship with anyone who treads the spiritual path and who has made advances within the kingdom morally and ethnically, thus purifying the lower soul.

Body, Soul, SpiritThe true meaning of the Tetragrammaton then stands for the Heavenly man (Adam Kadmon in Kabbalah), or Christ incarnate in Christian mysticism, when the involution cycle of the logos has been completed and the lower man perfected by the higher! Adam Kadom, the true archetypal man, is the complete manifestation of God incarnate, symbolized by the Tetragrammaton.

A Little More about Body, Soul, and Spirit

So how does God dwell in us? Is He in our bodies, our soul, or spirit? What’s the difference?

The truth is that God is actually a part of ALL of them.

A Western view of the Judeo-Christian scriptures has traditionally taught that only some people—the ones who become saved—have God inhabiting them. This is ridiculously false. God revealed to Moses, “I AM THAT I AM.” A direct translation would be that God told Moses, I will become that which I become. God is in the process of becoming, through you! And ALL of your body, soul, and spirit is involved in this powerfully majestic process! This is simply the process of BEING.

Spirit is the energizing mechanism that allows everything to be. The soul is the potential to be anything, and it is through the body/bodies that this potential is expressed!

2 Corinthians 6:16 states:

“…for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God…”

Paul compares the living God within us to a temple. Remember, the Tabernacle and the temples of the Old Testament were only types and shadows of a deeper reality. This deeper reality is us! We are the Tabernacle and temple.

We have already quoted Paul in 2 Cor. 6:16 above. I purposely left off the beginning of that scripture since it will become more relevant now. I have bolded that portion I left off earlier.

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols, for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God…”

In the Old Testament idols were a symbol for the mental-emotional conditions which were mistaken notions of the object of life. These mental-emotional conditions need to be purified in order to advance in the Kingdom of God (found within us). Paul is giving us the formula for this advancement so that the Christ incarnate could become a reality in all of us and the Tetragrammaton manifested in man.

The Jews considered the Tetragrammaton too holy to pronounce, and they may very well have their good reasons. But esoterically, the Tetragrammaton is holy because it is a rare and sacred phenomenon that YHVH fully manifest in mankind. If you believe in a historical Jesus, then you might say that He was one such man!


{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert March 25, 2014 at 10:01 am


Excellent post. Always wondered why the Tetragrammaton was kept as such a hidden mystery. You have provided Gaskell’s explanation of the mystery.

I’m trying to soak this in, but the explanation of highest part of the “Self” as “The Absolute” still escapes my understanding, since it seems to be an expression of the individual (or part of the individual) as the encompassing ALL.

I guess I tend to think of God as a soup that permeates everything within and without, so there is still an external aspect of God exclusive of the individual even though there is an internal aspect of God within the individual. Maybe I have some confusion about the definition of self vs. Self. Maybe you are saying the Self is the part of each individual that is really not individual but common to the unfathomable All. But since the ALL is unfathomable, that part of me that is part of the unfathomable eludes my understanding. I can’t know that part of me. I am told by Gaskell that it exists, but I have a problem understanding what it is or isn’t.

Is Gaskell’s explanation a condensation of many schools of esoteric wisdom, or does it favor one school? I think there can be some confusion in mixing terminology fro different schools. The Absolute is also part of the Kaballah but I’m not sure what it is; it’s just at the top of the chart and is the highest expression of divinity.

Gaskell has many books out with close to the same title. I’m assuming you are using one of the older ones which Amazon lists as about $50 for a good used copy. His other newer title of 800 pages “Dictionary of All Scriptures and Myths” is only $12. I wonder if it contains the same information.


Robert March 25, 2014 at 10:17 am

I guess what I am saying is that I have trouble accepting that, as you state “within me is the entire universe”. It is very foreign to anything I have known before. It evokes the logical paradox “how can the entire universe be in two individuals at the same time.” It also makes me think of me as an entity floating out in nothingness and bringing everything into being.


Justin March 26, 2014 at 1:41 pm


To understand how the universe can be in two individuals you can imagine one of two scenarios:

1) Every time you dream you create a universe, in that universe the you that is asleep cannot be fathomed, it is the creator and is in all things in that universe.

2) By letting go of the sense of self (meaning the self you see, feel, and think) the idea of all is one becomes much easier. After all, everything we sense with our outer senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste) is all an illusion. All of it exist as we see it only because of the lens (filter) we look through.



Robert November 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm


I am finally absorbing this. It has taken some time for me to make cognitive connections with different models of connectivity, plus more hours of what I call “flight time” in the zone experiencing connectedness while in an altered state upon meditating. Also developing empathetic sensitivity to others, where in an effort to avoid conflict, and a desire to reach beyond my sheltered self to be present more in the experience of others, I have found that something happens and I find myself relating on a more mutually fulfilling level with others, beginning to have more of a sense of what other are directly feeling and thinking, instead of projecting more of an intellectual best guess about them.

I am still only conscious of fully inhabiting myself. When they go off and experience more of their life, I don’t experience that part unless myself comes in the presence of the other’s self. If they die, I’m still here. I am separate and in charge of me. And I need to be. That part is not what I would call an illusion, but a real responsibility. The illusion is that in my excessive fear for self preservation and in my distractions, I fall back into not remembering my connectedness to others and forgetting my consciousness of a greater Me that is in charge of me and connected to some degrees with the me factor of others. Other’s may also be conscious of their own Me. But I am not conscious of my ME being the same as their Me. On the other hand, when two of us are together and both more present in our respective Me’s, a lot of neat stuff happens to both of us. This model is a lot more realistic to me, than my imagining somehow that I am you.


Justin November 17, 2014 at 2:39 pm


It is great to hear from you!

I understand what you are saying about there being a Greater ME in each of us, and each of those MEs being separate from one another. This too, I feel, is part of the illusion but is a great step forward. In fact, when I live in the presence of my greater me, I find a much greater peace. The fact is that I myself do not “Know” that there is a next phase, to know meaning to experience; however, I do feel that there is more (and I have faith that in that feeling.)

I have spent the last few weeks studying and trying to relate all that I know about Gnostic Christianity to Rastafari. Which, is another branch of the Abramamic faiths that is often ignored. In it we find the concept of I, I being both you and the holy spirit within you (thus the term “I ‘n I”). In the faith, Rastafari do not use the term me or you, rather everyone is called I, for all is of one spirit. By using I in this way in my own thought patterns I have been able to much more easily see that all are one, it is truly amazing the powers of language.

As to the thought of Responsibility, I have difficultly shedding this concept as well. I know, both from my background in literal Christianity and from what I have learned since leaving it behind in search of a more firm truth, that “Ask and it shall be given” (Mat7:7) and that my Father would not hand me a Serpent when I need a fish(Luke 11:11). These and many other passages lead me to believe that we can do away with personal responsibility IF we can leave behind the ego’s need to control our lives (this is very difficult and, from what I can see, our modern society actually tries keeps us locked in this mindset).

Realize that by doing this you would be conquering all fears; death, hunger, pain, sorrow, loss, etc… some of these you may even have to face if necessary. It is these fears that hold us back and keep us bound. Additionally, I would like to point out that I do not believe these fears to be evil, or even harmful, they are gifts given to each of us as we enter these bodies so that we will survive long enough to learn the lessons needed from life. Once we can ride ourselves of these fears, I believe that they will naturally fall away. This is due to the fact that once we have experienced a moment of God-hood, a term I am using to define the feeling of being one with the all, we realize that the body is temporary, the ego is temporary, and all pain is temporary. Realizing this gives us the power to let go of everything and exist as we are called to exist.

To attempt and remedy what I see as a stumbling block to my conquering of these fears, I have set forth (first with intention and now by taking action) to free myself from the trappings of modern society in an attempt to live a life more in tune with nature and its “Chaotic” forces. I should make it clear that this is a path I feel is my calling, and my not ring true for anyone else.

Robert March 25, 2014 at 11:13 am

I have to grant you this. This explanation of the Logos emanating from the Absolute seems like a much better explanation than all the various traditional explanations for Logos, that confuses Logos and the Scriptures as both the Word of God. Scripture is not the Logos. I think the Logos is the generative principle of the universe that issues out from the Absolute, not actual spoken or written words which are phenomena that exist on much lower planes. But I could use some help in better defining the Logos. Anyone? I think understanding this is the key to getting free of the distortions many of us leaned in church.


Justin March 26, 2014 at 1:50 pm

I always view the Logos as the word of God. Scripture is man’s version of this word written down, but the true Logos is in all things. You are a Logos just as the trees, the air, the clouds, and stars are all Logos. All “exist” because it is a word from God.

You are correct in stating that it is confusing, but this is only because we try to associate the word of God with the words of men. While both are powerful creation tools, the words of men are formed in the Ego, the word of God is formed in the spirit. Because of this one can say, “The letter kills” for the letter is of man, but “the spirit gives life” for it is from God.

Sorry if this doesn’t help any, I almost didn’t post it because I have trouble in describing it to myself. Its more of a feeling than a thought in all honesty.



Joshua April 4, 2014 at 8:01 pm


Sorry for the late reply. Yes, I have a copy of Gaskell’s 800 page dictionary of all scripture and myth. It’s a brilliant work and a must have for anyone interested in esoteric concepts. I think it will clear a lot of for you if you are willing to purchase it.

Gaskell is putting together the general truth behind all esoteric traditions. He does a good job bringing the terminology together in an understandable way.

The ALL is unfathomable, we have to accept it on faith. The mind will never understand the absolute. That’s why the ancients used esoteric concepts to explain it.


Robert April 7, 2014 at 7:47 pm


Thanks. That version Gaskell is available used for $12 plus shipping, not a bad deal.

I think I am starting to fill in some of the history of the western esoteric traditions, including the influence of theosophy, much of which seems to permeate through this website. As I understand it, at the end of the 19th century some western scholars began studying Vedic literature because they believed it was connected in some ways to the origins of European religions. They began to study similarities in language and symbols and from this they began to believe in a common mystical language and mythology related to ancient wisdom. The language enabled mystics to conceal esoteric wisdom within mythology to protect it from being profaned and to protect the unskilled from hurting themselves and others by abusing it. Gaskell created a dictionary of this mystical language. I’m not sure where Egyptian mythology fits in here, but I assume Gaskell included it too, as well as the Greek.

There is a slight problem with some of the activities of the 19th and early 20th century European esoteric leaders, which includes Madame Blavatsky, a founder of Theosophy. She was accused of faking clairvoyance demonstrations. So we have now have a major source of western esoteric thought that may be associated with some corrupted activities. This makes it harder to believe them, except for the notion that there is no such thing in human existence as uncorrupted acttivities.

There is another slight problem with the early European esoteric leaders, in that some were involved with Aryanism, a master race that trumps Semitic races and Semitic spirituality, which is in direct conflict with preservation of Jewish culture and spirituality. And some of this has trickled through in subtle expressions of anti-Semeticsm in 20th century esoteric thought.

I wonder if someone can address these two problems.


Brian April 7, 2014 at 8:13 pm

For a balanced and scholarly treatment of this era, I would recommend ” The New Believers
Re-Imagining God”, by Rachael Kohn. This quote from the publishers fairly describes the content:

“The New Believers analyses the contemporary spiritual trends, including – the quest for God in the Self, – the rise of Jesus the wise sage – the search for an ecological vision in the Bible – the celebration of the Goddess – the popularisation of Kabbalah – the scientific contribution to morality – the social costs of romanticised and rigid religion.”

You can also access Rachael’s weekly radio interviews at, among the radio national programs, under “The Spirit of Things”.


Justin April 8, 2014 at 8:14 am

Has anyone had the chance to read, God-Man: The Word Made Flesh by George W. Carey and Inez Eudora Perry, or anything else from these authors? It was recommended by Amazon when I purchased Gaskell’s Dictionary of all scripture and myth. But Amazon recommendations are hit and miss on spiritual books.



Philinda August 23, 2014 at 10:32 am

That really caeurtps the spirit of it. Thanks for posting.


James March 25, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Great article. Though there are many points that theologians and mystics would disagree on, most especially the difference between Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Esotericism (Logos/Christ is not Jewish), and stating the opinions of certain scholars or occult/new age authors as being the gospel view of this or that (Unitarianism is hardly a mainstream or Jewish view of the subject). With this said, still very informative, and appreciated.



Brian March 26, 2014 at 10:30 pm

You talk of planes of consciousness.

So, what is a plane? Speaking geometrically it is a two dimensional construct, which can define an area of a three dimensional volume. So, when architects want to describe a three dimensional building on a two dimensional page, they break the diagram into various 2D aspects or planes, like the floor plan from above and the building’s profile from the sides.

The purpose of describing these various dimensions from various aspects is to enhance our understanding of the whole, not to destroy the concept that we are still dealing with an integrated whole.

I suspect we can say the same thing about the various planes that you are describing. They remain aspects of an integrated whole; a creative response to the the limitations of trying to communicate a 3D structure on 2D paper.

However, in recent times, the hologram has freed us from this constraint and we can now communicate more routinely in 3D.

Is it not possible in your subject area that we might not be ready to move forward with some of these more recent technological insights.

When many of the metaphors you are describing were recorded, the human mind by way of Greek Euclidian geometry was completely limited to three dimensions. And for our unassisted imaginations, this has not changed much. We may know that time creates a fourth dimension but attempts to imagine it as easily as we can a cubic structure remain challenging ( I certainly cannot visualise an object moving through time; can you?).

However, about 300 years ago Newton and Leibniz bequeathed us with calculus, by which we can algebraicly deal with change within more than three dimensions. And recently the computer has made some of these conceptualisation more available to our senses. For instance we can now see a face age on a computer screen, pretty much in real time.

So, if mathemeticians can benefit from these innovations, why shouldn’t your material be equally assisted? At the moment, we are using a set of metaphors which were state of the art 2,000 plus years ago, when the Greeks were stuck with 3D geometry.

What are we missing, by clinging to past metaphors in this way?

Take what we now know about consciousness. Could the human imagination not actaully be the hub of the Universe? Not us, but the human imagination, that is routinely born into each of us. If God has this be-all and end-all aspect, could we perhaps transfer this power to the construct of human consciousness.

What would be the cost of this? Probably the end of the externalised interventionist God, replaced as you say by a divinity within based upon the power of consciousness. Maybe even the end of Jesus as a visiting God, replaced by Jesus as a very enlightened student of the Christos; the Christ consciousness. Probably, we would also end up with a more powerful spiritual instinct to see ourselves as an important force for the evolution of the Universe, if it all ultimately runs through us; or at least our consciousness.

Perhaps God, a power within, is actually all the things we have yet to conceive of in our Universe. Our higher power is that which we need to become in order to be our own source of salvation.

Perhaps, it is time to admit that we invented God, not the other way around. Some of us may have invented a God that really does exist; but the fact remains the Jewish Tribe invented their God for reasons of tribal survival. Like all other writings, the myths and stories came from the human imagination. And very helpful they were too. There is nothing wrong with good fiction; it can contain some of the truest ideas we know.

About 100 years ago, mathematicians redefined their craft as the study of patterns. It was an extremely liberating step which has underpinned much of the exciting science ever since.

Perhaps we could do the same here. Stop letting the limitations of past ideas and metaphors dominate our thinking. They served us well for a while but perhaps it is time to move forward and truly appreciate the power we really do have within us, kind courtesy of unique ability to think, analyse, synthesise and imagine things that are yet to come.


Justin March 27, 2014 at 8:54 am


You start by asking what is a plane in spiritual terms, you then go on to describe out planes work in Architecture. To me, the planes of existence used here are the same concept, a way of looking at the whole as parts. This is needed because existence as a whole is not graspable by the human mind, at least not yet. Think about it this way, if the soul is timeless but the physical plane is not how do you describe the existence of the soul and body without showing they follow seemly different rules in regard to time, the major measuring point for physical existence at the moment?

I grant you that time may not actually exist on the physical plane either but we have not gotten to the point in quantum physics to be able to prove that concept, and Newtonian Physics is based in time so it will never be able to break the time myth.

You speak of God as an invention of the human mind, and to a degree are right. However, in my opinion, God is not just an imaginary figure created in the likeness of man. The externalised God many worship may be (I say may be because who knows maybe some other race of creatures fits that description of God), but that is not God, it is a is an idol that makes people feel secure. God, as he/she/it was to the ancient Hebrew, is the same as it was to the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Indians, and many other cultures; it is the underlying current that unites all things together. It is the creative force from which all matter, all souls, and all thoughts flows.

I think that what you desire will come to pass, you will get a new model to view the underworkings of reality as a whole. If you keep asking questions, and search for answers you may be the one to find it even. My thoughts on the subject lead me to think the answer will come from quantum physics, for it is there that we see the spiritual laws holding true and the Newtonian Physical rules breaking down.



Brian March 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Thanks for responding, Justin. Yes, the evolution of the quantum paradigm has certainly given some exciting new tools with which to conceptualise our perceptions and understandings; our maps of reality.

For instance, the model in this essay relies heavily on the idea of “above and below”. So the mind tends to think in terms of floors of a building; ground floor for beginners and a penthouse for the grand masters. But what if these different planes are the different sides of a cube or even a multifacetted geodesic dome? And as you walk around this multidimensional object, you encounter the various planes, without a sense of high and low; rather these states just exist next door to each other? Does that not lead us in a direction of balance and equilibrium; keep your mind on heaven, but keep your feet on the earth.

In quantum thinking, it seems to me that context becomes much more important. Objects and events become a complex array variables, collectively called “tuples”. And the importance of these different variables or dimensions varies with the context. So, male and/or female; sometimes it matters, sometimes it doesn’t and sometimes one of each becomes a prerequisite. It seems that the quantum model allows us to conceptualise a far more flexible, dynamic Universe than the Newtonian model did.

Could all this new found change and dynamism allow me to give up my desire for existential permanence? Do I still need a soul that exists forever? Perhaps I could give up my need to exist forever. Indeed, I am happy to think that the Universe (whatever that really means) will stay in a relatively steady state for a really long time. But my functioning conscious mind does seem to have a use-by-date. (In fact, I am a bit past it already.) We seem to have about 70 years to contribute what we can to the evolution of a bigger, more continuous whole, of which for a time we are just a part. Then the miracle of reproductive life will replace each of us with a brand new innocent little mind, whom I hope will understand things that I have never even thought about.

I think religion will discover new energy and meaning when it emphasises the discovery of the future as much as it currently emphasises the recovery of the past. We are first and foremost evolutionary beings. Things are getting better not worse.

And our creative thinking is a powerful force in that evolutionary process.


Joshua April 4, 2014 at 7:57 pm


I think Justin hit the nail on the head. The planes I am referring to are not two-dimensions, but rather I am speaking in spiritual terms as it has to do with consciousness.


Brian April 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Well, your essay is riddled with implied cause and effect relationships operating within dimensions of space and time; higher/lower, deeper/shallower and the claim that a spiritual set of vectors can reliably and predictably alter a material set.

Now to my knowledge, the plane is just a two dimensional simplification of a more complex multidimensional system, so that we can explore, in isolation, how one variable is impacting a second. Then it becomes possible to combine planar views to explore more than two interacting variables.

Implicit in this approach, is the need for some measure of each variable, which in turn implies a rigorous definition of each variable. In other words, what is consciousness and how do we measure high versus low states; not to mention these other metaphorical concepts that you include in your essay?

Without that sort of rigor, you end up with a set of vague metaphoric symbols which could mean anything. It also does not help to take a well established concept like a planar view of a system and unilaterally give it some radical new meaning; at least without some explanation of why and how.

Now, the mind appears to have good uses for the metaphorical, but reliable cause and effect predictions, as in your reference to a disciplined training, is a most unlikely outcome; at least not until we can define precisely and measure accurately.

And this appears to be the central problem with our studies of the mind; we really do not have a clue how abstract thinking operates.

And without these definitions and measures, we remain powerless to predict that if we do one thing, it will result reliably in a second outcome.

When it comes to consciousness, we are still bumping around in the dark. And all I was suggesting is that exploring modern computerised multimensional descriptors of change may help.


Robert March 27, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Brian, Josh, Justin,

I think I am at the same stumbling block I was many months ago when I was having trouble because it seemed that Josh was saying there is no afterlife, and that eternal life is the life we have now in this body when we enter the Kingdom of God. I would not accept that. My mind and my intuition told me something was not right with that. It was incomplete the way I perceived it. So I traced the various theological models I thought Josh was using and discovered that most of them included a provision for afterlife. There were about five different forms of them. I sorted them out and prayed and meditated and came to accept one of them as real. Also, there are one or two that assume there is nothing left of you after you die, but there is the influence (butterfly effect) you had while alive and the memory of you which eventually fades. I don’t accept these two.

In this case I seem to be stumbling over the Absolute…. how can the same entire universe be within two individuals. I’m guessing that like before I am stumbling over semantics, or confusing metaphor with facts.

What do I mean by metaphor? The dream analogy is a metaphor. It is impossible for me to accept as fact. I remember many of my dreams. I can’t accept that in my dreams I inhabit another dimension that is real, and in which I have created the illusion of a life that I experience while awake. I think the dream thing was intended to be a metaphor pointing to the idea that there is another dimension to us that we are not normally aware of, until we metaphorically awaken to it. I can accept that. But I do not accept that when we literally fall asleep and literally dream that we leave the illusion of wakefulness and inhabit a secret dimension that is the true reality. The dream thing is a metaphor, not a factual description. There are no facts to back it up, but there are facts to discredit it as fact. But the metaphor has meaning.

I think if I were able to trace Josh’s theology in this post to its various sources, I could clear up the reservations I have about the Absolute. But I a not sure where they are from. I think I made a mistake in thinking it comes from Gaskell. So I need some help tracing it down, so I can read the explanations from the original authors and get a better idea of what they meant. Hopefully someone will point me to the right source so I will not have to wade through 10,000 pages or get sidetracked by the wrong source which assumes what should be metaphors are facts (i.e., practices idolatry).

For better or worse, I’m a type 5 who depends on intellect and a scientist who has discovered and validated through experience the dimension of intuition which is real and beneficial, and that discovery is part of my salvation from suffering. Unless I can experience directly that you and I both have the same entire universe within each one of us, then to me it is just a story.

Does anyone understand where I am stuck here? Anyone have a clue that might help?


Joshua April 4, 2014 at 8:06 pm


Sorry if I conveyed in a previous post that there is no afterlife, but this is not the case. It is true that the personality developed in each incarnation is transitory, but that doesn’t mean that the the true us is snuffed out. Only a part of our soul is incarnated each time. The real you is much bigger than you can imagine. Self awareness is not limited to the personality and can never be put to death.

You are not the same person as you were as a child, but you carry the same self-awareness. It is your current personality that makes you Robert. In another incarnation you will exhibit some of the personality you have now, but not exactly as Robert. There will be another dimension added to you.


Robert April 8, 2014 at 11:10 am


Thanks for that clarification. It is reassuring to believe that some part of self-awareness will survive the present lifetime. The movie “Cloud Atlas” with Tom Hanks was an interesting depiction of reincarnation, where the main character’s personality changed through time, evolving into a less egocentric soul.


Brian March 28, 2014 at 12:56 am

Hi Robert.

It sounds like a good sort of stuck to me.

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.” TS Eliot.

For me it is not so much the whole Universe being within me, as it is the power of the Universe is flowing through me as life. Slowly but surely our human consciousness is evolving to appreciate the power and potential of this divine living energy within.

There is a lovely legend about how the gods were all very worried about humanity; that they would discover the power of the Universe and use it to destroy themselves. So, the gods wanted a really good hiding place for their secret. They searched every mountain, cave, ocean and forest, but they always knew that one day an adventurous human being would journey there. Finally, they chose a place, where they knew human beings would never look. They hid the secret deep within each of us. They knew that when humanity finally looked within, they would also find the wisdom to use the secret well.

Personally, I have found “stuck” is actually not that bad a place to be. It is through our inspired questions, rather than our deluded certainties, that we ultimately make progress.

Fear not; you can trust a Universe that grows flowers.


Robert April 8, 2014 at 11:13 am


Thanks. I really liked the legend.


Robert March 28, 2014 at 9:05 am


Thank you. That was excellent.


Chris March 30, 2014 at 5:54 am

My head hurts 🙂


Robert April 8, 2014 at 11:18 am


I’ve noticed that ramping too quickly from sleep to metaphysical brain jams may not be the best way to start the day.


Justin April 8, 2014 at 11:24 am

I have to disagree Robert, waking up to a Metaphysical brain jam is an awesome way to awaken. I do my best thinking right after I wake up, in the moments before my logical mind kicks in an ruins all the fun.

Granted, it does make for an extremely unproductive day (in regards to doing the job i get paid to do).



Dan April 3, 2014 at 4:23 am

I appreciate this blog site very much, but sometimes I appreciate the comments section more.
It’s just very comforting to see real people working-it-out, just like me. Sometimes (most) I feel very isolated. There was a time when a “teacher” would “train-up” his disciple/disciples directly, but these days we have to search-out and then discern teachings. This has caused me to go down many rabbit trails.
Anyway, just thankful.


Joshua Tilghman April 4, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Thanks, Dan.


Michael October 6, 2014 at 5:24 pm


Is this yours:

“Fear not; you can trust a Universe that grows flowers.” ?

That is simply one of the greatest quotes I have ever read. Thank you.


Maryann November 17, 2014 at 6:15 am

Have to laugh at Chris’s comment ‘my head hurts’. Work off hours and most times read SOTS articles late at night- where heavy thinking about subject material is required, -but sometimes the body is weak! But very interesting subject and insights. Will read over to absorb more in daytime. Thank you for providing keys to unlock insight and get closer to God.


geoffreyfranklin June 14, 2015 at 10:44 pm

YHVH is the most misunderstood concept of our time.


Joshua Tilghman July 19, 2015 at 1:26 pm

Very true, Geoffrey, and I am still learning the mystery and meaning behind the name.


Yosef ben Torah January 31, 2017 at 3:06 pm


This is a very modernized and socially acceptable view of what YHVH means, unfortunately like 99.9999999% of the content ever published on this matter and whole religions built upon this name, it was originated on purpose by the Akadians and bent by the Shemites to confound the goyim into some holy virtue.

The name and meaning are all but bs as you have but lead to believe a lie.
The fact is that YHVH has a very literal meaning and is actually in reference to Enlil (the angry Semite war god), YHVH literal means NOT EA.

That’s it, nothing more and nothing less.

You can find this by reading proto caananite and ancient glyps.

EA was the human Creator and loved the humans he created, he’s your Creator.

His brother Enlil who was a militant tyrantual Brahmin war god The god who walked in the garden and busted Adam and Eve for wanting to know what’s going on is EL, there fore NOT EA.

The Sumerians were ultimately terrified of EL Enlil because of his horrible and constant slavery and murderous attitude towards humans. EL/ENLIL had the royal title of NOT EA… likes aying “this guy is NOT EA”.

They were both part of the Elohim and are brother by the Father ANU. It’s rather simple, simply Enlil was NOT EA, EA is EA (EA =YH, YA, Ja, Jo, YO…)

YH = EA (Yah)
VH = Veh (NO or NOT)

Therefore, YHVH is Not EA…and it actualy infers it’s the other god, EL

Now you know!


Joshua Tilghman February 24, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Yoseph, I get your point. But I do not believe it is not modernized. It is a pretty ancient interpretation. Everything you have written above could be true, but behind the semantics the same revelations apply.


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