The goal of initiatic science is to teach us about the origin of created things, the world of ideas. Yes, all created things have their origin in the world of ideas, principles and numbers. Creation and the multiplicity of phenomena occurring within it can be reduced to numbers, and initiatic science shows us how these numbers move and work. A number is an idea. The figure that represents that number is it s garment (it's manifestation or, one might say, its face). When one succeeds in vivifying numbers and understanding how they operate, one sees that they are active forces at work in nature and that all forms and all movement are engendered by their combinations, separations, multiplications, and divisions. When one examines a snail shell or the structure of a crystal, for instance, how can one fail to admire the work of numbers? All the principles of arithmetic can be found in plants, animals, the stars, in the physical and psychic structure of human beings, and even in their destiny.
Now let us study the number TWO. How did it come to be represented by the figure 2? Originally, this figure was not exactly as we know it today. The loop at the top is a later modification. It began as two parallel lines linked thus: Z. The link between the two lines is very important. It means that the two currents represented are neither separate nor contradictory, that they are in reality one and the same current circulating on two different planes. The pattern is exactly that of the convection currents that circulate between the earth's surface and the higher atmosphere. Winds blow in one direction at ground
level and in the opposite direction at altitude. One often sees that the wind at ground level is blowing one way while the clouds are going in the opposite direction.
A similarly apparent contradiction can be seen when two people push on the two ends of the same pole in order to turn a horizontal wheel. They seem to be going in opposite directions, but as the movement is circular they are actually pushing in the same direction and their efforts are combined, not opposed. It is only if you look down at them from above, however, that you can see this. If you remain on their level you will always have the impression that they are going in opposite directions. The wheel is made to rotate by these two apparently contradictory movements. This is an interesting comparison, because on closer examination one sees that if the combined efforts of these two opposing currents contribute to the achievement of a common purpose, it is because they are joined at the center. And the center of the Universe is God. One has to keep this idea firmly in mind when studying the number TWO.
Whether it be in creation as a whole or in individual creatures, all aspects of life are governed by the number TWO. But it is possible to understand the TWO only if one remains constantly aware of the ONE. There is one unique reality, but that one reality becomes polarized, and from this polarization all the rest ensues. The essential thing is to understand the nature of these two poles and the manner in which they work together. One can truly speak of polarization only if the two currents have a harmonious relationship, if they are like two people shaking hands or saluting each other in a gesture of friendship. If this is not the case, we must speak not of polarization but of division or
confrontation. Instead of working together in understanding and harmony, they oppose and eventually destroy each other. In reality, it is true that division can give rise to something analogous to the germination of a seed. A grain of wheat, for instance, has to split in two in order to germinate. Before germination it is ONE, but when it is sown it becomes TWO. Then comes the THREE, the germ contained in the seed, and as it sprouts it draws its life force from both halves of the seed. The two principles feed the third as it grows. In a seed or grain, therefore, there is division followed by fermentation, and the seed itself disappears. The seed dies, and this death has a role to play not only in nature, but also in our inner life. It is thanks to death that a human being awakens to a new life. Jesus said: "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." But that is another mystery!
TWO is the number of initiation. In the TWO are hidden all the most profound, dangerous and complex questions – even the secret of the existence of the devil. Everything pertaining to the number TWO is difficult. In fact, when God was creating the world, he did not say that the second day was good. Of all the other days, the Bible says: "And God saw that it was good," but there is no such comment for the second day. God said nothing about it. TWO is the most formidable of all numbers, because it contains the seeds of all division and divergence, and it is in division and divergence that evil begins.
The ability to study the number TWO and plumb the depths of its mystery is not given to everybody. When one understands it and is capable of working with it, it is the number of order, harmony, and construction. But for the unwise it is the number of opposition and destruction. It all depends on us, therefore, on our ability to study and understand. The outcome of the meeting of the two currents will be either good or evil for the individual, depending on his or her understanding and behavior.
The High Priestess portrayed on the second Tarot card is seated in front of the two pillars of the temple and between the pillars hangs a veil which conceals the entrance and forbids access to the temple. The right hand of the High Priestess lies on an open book (this is the only Tarot card in which one sees a book) and in her left hand are two keys. These symbols mean that we have to study and learn in order to obtain the keys that will enable us to lift the veil and have access to the mysteries. The book is TWO. The keys also. The number TWO represents the entrance to the sanctuary. Those who enter by this door find a strange and mysterious path lying before them. They cannot know in advance what they will find if they follow it: they can only be sure that they will make some important discoveries. The High Priestess says: "Study and learn, my children, and you will see how marvelously everything in the Universe has been disposed by the Creator. If you do not study, you will not have a true view of reality. You will never be able to understand how the different elements of the TWO fit together. You will encounter opposition and enmity, and it is only through struggle and misfortune that you will learn the reality of the TWO."
There is one thing that has to be understood, only one, and that is the number TWO, the existence of the two principles, the positive and negative, the masculine and feminine. The Universe was created by these two principles, and this means that it will
continue to exist – and that humanity will continue to exist and to advance – thanks to the work of the two principles. You will say: "Is it as simple as that?" Why go looking for complications? Complications arise only from the inability of human beings to understand and use the different manifestations of this polarity. The two principles are at the root of life itself. They can be seen in every phenomenon of life, whether physical, psychic, or spiritual.
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
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