“When one sees fingers pointing at the moon, it is
best to cease looking at the fingers and look where they are pointing.”
-- Hindu Proverb
Who is Eleazar? It doesn’t
matter and it is really about the meaning of new names.
By Eleazar, 2003
I get emails from readers of this web-site (http://webspace.webring.com/people/np/potai/)
asking who is Eleazar that authored some of the essays.
What follows may satisfy those who feel that knowing the identity of
Eleazar is important. The
format will comprise the usual FAQ structure where frequently asked questions
are followed by responses.
After I got into writing this narrative, I started digressing quite a bit
about the meaning of new names in the context of names in the LDS endowment
ceremony. So, this
narrative contains a lot of miscellaneous comments about that subject.
It’s a bit funny how these things tend to evolve.
Asking who is Eleazar is a symbolic act.
But, one is asking about the wrong person.
We should be asking who we are and find out what our own names mean.
No, it doesn’t mean to analyze your name. The meaning of that will become clearer after one
has found out what they mean (so to speak).
That is, the important task is finding out who you are before finding out
about someone else. Who you
are is symbolized by names. After
one finds out who they really are, then the meaning of the names become clear.
When that occurs, then there will no longer be a need to ask who is
questions become meaningless for reasons that become clear after it's happened.
Why don’t you use your real name as
author on writings?
I prefer to keep my identity reasonably private and don’t think
it is important who it is who writes the material on the website.
It could easily have been someone else rather than me. But, would that matter?
You could have written these things.
Unfortunately, those steeped in LDS
culture tend to get the message mixed up with the identity of
the messenger. This emerges from the
strong emphasis on belief that church leaders are the only ones having
this leads to frustration because it is a messed up way to live and therefore cannot
endure permanently. Ultimately
one sees that worrying about messengers isn’t needed. It becomes a
moot point when one uncovers the truth. After the end, one sees that
all messengers come from God, good or evil, so one gets beyond the idea of
testing messengers or worrying about who they might be. It no longer
In essays I’ve written, I’ve repeatedly stated that none of it comes with
claims of being correct, complete, or authoritative.
It is merely food for thought and anyone is free to take it or leave it.
I don’t go to great lengths to hide my given name, but prefer that I
remain reasonably anonymous for the reasons stated above.
I don’t have any following that I know of, nor do I desire one, and I
don’t pretend to be any different than anyone else in this wonderful world of
death and hell. Ultimately,
one realizes that all of us have the same name(s).
Eleazar might be considered to be your name, too.
Where did you get the name, Eleazar?
Well, I guess I
might answer, appropriately, like the Beatles when they were asked a similar
question about why they chose the name ‘Beatles’?:
“It’s just another name, like ‘shoe’.
Yeah, we could have been the shoes.”
(said with a wink and a
The name Eleazar comes from Eleazar Ben Yair, the Jewish leader of the
Zealots who perished at Masada (a mountain stronghold) in the first century
revolt against the Romans. The
story of Eleazar and the Jewish rebellion is told in the writings of the first
century historian, Flavius Josephus.
The Zealots were the last hold-outs of the Jewish rebellion and chose to
commit mass suicide rather than be captured by the Romans and go into slavery. Eleazar Ben Yair (Eleazar, son of Yair) gave an
impassioned speech to the Zealots that I was impressed with at the time I was
looking for a pen name.
is everything in this material world (In fact, the entire world operates on
time). There are other names
too that I’ve used as pen names, such as Po-Tai.
Po-Tai is the name of the fat, bald, and jolly Buddha in Chinese lore
(sometimes called the Laughing Buddha) and is spelled other ways too (eg. Ho Tei)
when Latinized from Chinese. The
Chinese Po-Tai looks a bit like a Santa figure who's been through
chemotherapy so has lost all of his hair, but none of his being
I suggest that you don’t take
these names, or any others for that matter, too seriously.
Names are, at best, symbols. At
worst, they are misleading. If you
want to know what is important about them, then search for what is real that
they represent, but don’t get hung up on them and, most of all, don’t make
them your obsession. That
is where one gets misled.
Is Eleazar a new name?
No. In fact, it is an old one (chuckling), but what I mean
to say by joking on this matter might go way over most people’s heads.
I am not trying to be funny and I do not intend to offend endowment
patrons by making light of something thought to be very important, or much
worse, sacred. Are new names
really new? Well, in the
literal sense the answer is clearly “no”, most particularly in regard to LDS
endowment new names. But,
perhaps they are not metaphorically new names either. Failure to perceive this
is, in fact, one of the symptoms of our disease.
As LDS endowment patrons know, there is a ritual of being given a new
name. This new name is used as a
name of one of the priesthood tokens that already has a name:
“the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood”.
There is a lot of deep symbolic
meaning here and one is wise not to miss it.
When an endowment patron is asked “What is that?” at the veil,
one might notice that there is a redundancy because the patron has two names for
it, the old one (the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood; already given name) and the new (the
patron's new name).
The Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood has that name (old, given) and
is also named with the patron's given name.
One might first take time to notice that the First and Second Tokens of
Priesthood are obviously meant to be synonymous with each of us, or what
we are being, since they have our own name(s) on them.
The first and second tokens of the Aaronic Priesthood are partial handshakes
symbolizing partial-fellowship with God.
Names symbolize one's state of being and new names are supposed to
symbolize new states of being. Temple
patrons are told not to reveal these tokens, names, and signs (which once
included penalties in the pre-1990 ceremony) to the world. However,
revealing these to the world is something that carnal man is continually doing
since everyone reveals themselves, who they truly are, in all that they do
except sometimes in the case where one is skillfully deceptive.
So, how does one succeed in not revealing these tokens, names and signs?
Well, that comes as a part of changing what one is (being). That is, one succeeds in not revealing these tokens when the
tokens, names, and signs no longer belong to him or, rather, when one stops
living his (so called) life in the state of being symbolized by the tokens,
names, and signs. The real
purpose of the endowment is to transform the patrons completely into new beings
rather than tell them how great they are doing as fallen beings. That is what new names ultimately symbolize, a completely
new being. The perfect
symbolism in the endowment ritual of new names tell us that we have things
backward in thinking that we are doing what is correct.
Endowment patrons know that the new name is needed in the ceremony of passing
the veil. Most who have attended these ceremonies tend to think that
this veil ceremony constitutes practice for some future event, but it is not
because it is really about what goes on in the present (time) and thus has some
real meaning to it (right now) rather than imagined (needed in the future/past).
When patrons are offered the token through the veil and then asked “What is that?”, there are usual responses given and the patron
mistakenly thinks that his accurate recitation of these responses is what gets
him through the veil. But,
the ceremony itself suggests not.
Temple-goers might notice that one does not pass the veil at that time
and no response is given from the other side of the veil in regard to getting it
right. That is, except
at a time that comes later on in acting out the veil ceremony. When the patron correctly gives back the
mysterious name of the Second Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood, then and only
then does one receive the response back through the veil of “That
is correct.” Again,
one receives no such response when giving the names of other tokens.
All of this is very symbolic and meaningful, though few seem to notice
what is happening to them in the least bit, both at the veil ceremony and in
their everyday existence where they, figuratively speaking, stand at the veil
right now and act out in reality what the veil ceremony merely symbolizes.
Notice that a patron does a lot of ‘giving’ names through the veil.
He mistakenly thinks that he does so correctly because he thinks that
accuracy in obedience is what is wanted.
We might consider that this is one of the greatest problems afflicting
carnal and sensual man: His
grasping onto material things so tightly that he completely misses what it
means. He makes the error of
becoming infatuated with symbols rather than what is real (What they represent).
He can’t give them back correctly because he has no idea of what that
means. He thinks that perfect
obedience is accurate obedience. When he reaches a certain level of frustration at not
receiving further light and knowledge as he is promised, he might become able to give the names up (back correctly).
That is, he will come to know what it is about and what he is
missing. Carnal man needs to turn loose of all that he thinks is valuable (his
preconceived notions) to get out of his dilemma.
This has everything to do with consecration as well as other symbols that
are redundantly given him, both in the endowment and elsewhere.
It is all about a new way of being rather than correct acting out of a
Letting go of all that one possesses, or rather ‘giving back’ correctly
(synonymous with consecration) is something that is exceedingly difficult to do
for carnal man. He is unable
to do so until after he fully hits bottom and then looks for a new way. Hitting bottom is what ultimately comes out of
frustration at living the burdensome life of the preparatory gospel without
receiving further light and knowledge as is promised.
Frustration is the purpose and ultimate end of the preparatory gospel.
Some take longer than others to achieve a sufficient level of frustration
to give it up, but that is fine. Until
a transformation occurs, one tries and tries to get it right without moving onto
new things. Carnal man will
futilely try and try again, yet never get it right because his acting out of
things is the very problem that afflicts him.
He doesn’t get it (understand what it really
means) and until he does, he will stay where he is.
Because of the nature of this world and our reliance on it, many who have
attended LDS temples for endowments are prone to place an obsessively high value
on the new name, considering it a great secret and deeply personal (even
sacred), despite the fact that everyone (except in rare cases where the new name
matches a persons given name) of each sex gets the same new name on any given
day and records are kept of what name was used on which day.
There is a lot of deep symbolic meaning here and we should not pass over it too
Old New Names.
New names given in the LDS endowment are not really new, nor are they a
secret. The ‘new name’ I
received when being given my own endowments was “Amos” and every male going
through endowments on that same day who were not already named Amos, got the same new
name. If your given name matched
the new name (Amos on that day), then you got the new name ‘Adam’.
If you happen to forget your new name, you can apply to the church and
they will look it up on their records and remind you.
Moreover, those who are familiar with these new names know that they all
come from history so, in a literal sense, they are not new at all.
New old-names, so to speak, while not being literally new, are often very
instructive and edifying by being profoundly symbolic and meaningful, though not
always flattering. That is a
major part of their purpose. New-old
names are hardly ever flattering and inability to recognize that is where we as
carnal and sensual beings continue to go wrong.
That is, we go wrong by failing to see (perceive/understand) what it
really means and thereby receive the purposeful benefit.
Unfortunately, most will obsess themselves with the name itself and
keeping it secret. One might
look at the Hindu proverb at the beginning of this essay and notice a parallel
with new names being like the fingers pointing at the moon.
We play the fools when we obsess ourselves with the tokens, symbols,
signs, images rather than what is meant by them.
In doing so, we act out our existence as sign seekers and image worshipers.
Tokens, Names, Signs. Perhaps
it is valuable to continue on this idea for a short time.
Obsession with these new old names and the injunction to endowment
patrons not to reveal tokens, their names and signs causes many to get hung up
on trying to keep these new old names secret.
However, the preferred word to use here, as nearly every LDSite knows, is
‘sacred’, not secret.
This leads one into worshipping the wrong thing (a name) and missing the
entire message about what is going on (what it means).
This results in a lot of inversion in meaning where these things get
turned upside down. One might
notice that in keeping the name (a token/symbol/sign) ‘sacred’ (and secret),
we worship that which is unreal rather than that which is real.
Is the name real? No,
at best it's a symbol (a token; a name
of a token = redundancy), so it's redundantly unreal. What
is real? What it means,
symbolizes, represents, and ‘names’.
The redundancy in tokens, signs, names, and images is something that few
seem to notice. One might
first notice language. What
are words, but symbols? Since
words are symbols, they too are ‘names’.
Every word on these pages are symbols left by a writer so that a reader
can re-create meaning through seeing (reading) them. Of
course, the writer and reader have to share a common dictionary before the
reader will get the right message. Moreover, God's thoughts
are said in the scriptural record to be higher than (carnal) man's thoughts, therefore we might consider
the possibility that, as carnal men, we might not have the right dictionary
required to get it right on meaning. Perhaps that is why
these things are so redundant?
of a token is a token of a token as well as a symbol of a symbol.
Moreover, a name is a sign, a token is a sign and so forth;
All are symbols. Thus, they are all the same thing, which means
that the endowment is redundantly constructed. Again, carnal/sensual man falls into the trap of worshiping
the image (token; symbol) rather than what it means and thereby lives his (so
called) life (notice inversion in meaning in the word ‘life’) as aa image
worshipper and sign seeker. He
foolishly thinks that because he can (literally) grasp these tokens (Is it an
accident that the endowment tokens are grips?) that he has a hand(le) on what is
real. But, the joke is that
he doesn’t grasp them (ie. He doesn’t understand what it is about), despite
the endowment ‘tokens’ being grips (handshakes).
Well, by now you should see that they are much more than that.
They are names and signs too. Symbols upon symbols and layers upon
layers and redundantly simple. Yet, what are they really? And
does anyone ever 'get' it? Well if not, then perhaps they have no
Hiding (secreting, concealing) the new old name is acting out in mock fashion of
what is truly sacred. Does one take that which is sacred and place it under a
bushel? Well, in this case it
is thought so, but perhaps we ought to consider that this is a symptom
of our fallen state (disease).
Inasmuch as that which one creates always returns to him (the creator),
those who secret (conceal, hide) the new name from others find it hidden from
them selves. Admittedly,
this may appear a bit convoluted for those hearing it for the first time.
If so, think on it carefully and see if it makes more sense than you
could have ever imagined. Again, we
are really talking about meaning here, not the names.
Don’t continue to be mired in symbolism by thinking these names and
acting out accurately are important.
If one thinks that they should run out and reveal (tell others) their
endowment name, then one ought to take pause and consider that they have missed
the entire point of what has just been said.
It may be helpful to take another look at the Hindu proverb at the
beginning of this narrative. Fingers (and grips) are meaningless,
though they represent (point to) something else that is.
Names and Ego. Despite
the fact that the scriptures say that God chastises those whom he loves (cf. D&C 95:1), there is a mistaken tendency by us carnal
beings to take the things that come from God and use them to flatter the ego.
In believing that God flatters us in these temple endowments, we might
ask what we are saying about how God feels about us?
One might also notice that flattery is hardly ever edifying, but has the
opposite effect. Appropriately,
natural man gets distracted by what he (foolishly) thinks is flattering because
he has his priorities inverted. We
should consider that these new names are meant to be highly instructive to us
and ultimately they are (meant to be) deeply profound and edifying, rather than
being flattering, shallow, and un-edifying.
It makes a lot more sense that those attending endowments are those who
can most benefit by their message rather than those who don’t need it. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that those
not attending will not need it. Again, all
of the world operates on time. And when
one is truly ready for it, one gets it, right on time.
new old names we are known by are rarely flattering to the ego in what they
represent. Perhaps it is best
to use me as an example in regard to the name Eleazar.
In my own case, Eleazar was a new old name that I took at a specific time
that is as appropriate as one of those new old-names given in the LDS ritual.
Who was Eleazar Ben Yair, but a Zealot?
At the time I took the name, it was a perfect description of what I was
being. I was living my
(so-called) life as a Zealot. You
might even say that I was a superb Zealot (since Eleazar
Ben Yair was a leader in Zealoting). Later,
I was able to see what this is really about.
It seems that somewhere along the way, one forgets the fingers and starts
to notice where they point, often right back at us.
one no longer cares so much for owning that name.
No, it doesn’t mean that one gets rid of it. Again, that would be missing the point.
There is a total transformation in seeing things and one looks at
(perceives/knows) things differently than
before. The irony is
that the names are meaningful when they are thought to be meaningless and
meaningless when one sees them as they really are, symbols.
In reality, it isn’t about the names at all, but something else.
Sometimes it takes a long time to 'get' (the meaning of the new name;
comphrehend) this. One gets new names in the endowment, but does one really?
When they are truly gotten (ie. comprehended), then they are meant to be given
up (correctly). Giving up (back) names is something that is symbolized in
the veil ceremony.
There is a
lot more symbolism in the name and story of Eleazar Ben Yair and ‘history’
at Masada, but it may be too unwieldy and unhelpful to cover more of it here.
However, those who are interested can search it and it may be valuable to
some because of where it ultimately leads, even if that is to frustration.
When one looks at these his- stories, one needs to see them as parables
and to notice symbols. In the case of the Zealots, they committed mass
suicide rather than be subservient to the Romans.
But not everyone died, so to speak.
The historian Josephus has it that two women and five children escaped
the death of the Zealots by hiding in a cave and it was from these that the
story of Eleazar is known. Were
these the lucky ones? Well,
the mind of carnal man is prone to think so because he loves his own life (which
is really death) so much. Because of his inverted way of thinking,
he is oblivious to what is really going on.
notice of symbols and try to see the historical account as a spiritual allegory
that can be applied to the present time and place.
Masada is a mountain in the region of the Dead Sea.
‘Mountains’ are often symbols of the ‘holy place’ or that place
to which one flees for refuge. The
meaning of mountain is often synonymous with Temple which means that it is
synonymous with you, the true Temple.
‘Sea’ often symbolizes people, so Masada is a (symbolic) mountain
(holy place) among the (spiritually) dead people.
contemplating such stories, one might also take time to notice the similarities
in symbolism of the Dead Sea (Great Salt Lake) in Utah and the surrounding Mountains.
All of creation is symbolic, but who can read it?
In regard to the ‘death’ at Masadsa, notice that the only ones who
“survived” (remained behind) the mass suicide were two women (women are a
symbol of creation) and five children (children are also symbols of creation;
five the number representing senses/sensual) by hiding (it’s a symbol: what we
carnal beings do; what Adam and Eve did) in a cave (symbol:
our hiding place; body; vehicle).
Thus, the only ones ‘surviving’ (and continuing to ‘live’ under
the Romans) were those representing the carnal/sensual being.
Of course, the word ‘surviving’ is used in the above sentence in the
usual fashion of the carnal world where it means exactly the opposite (where the
meaning is inverted). Surviving
in Rome is not life, but (spiritual) death.
The two women and five children are symbols of carnal man who continues
to live as a servant to Rome (Rome is a symbol of the world). When
they emerge from their hiding place and we see them, then the story is
told. Carnal man will recognize who he is after experiencing what he
Gospel and Names. The
most fundamental message of these (and all scriptural) his-stories is that one must
(willingly) give up one's (zealous/false/at war) life in order to find (the
true/at rest) life. One might notice in the Masada history that the
story of Eleazar and his fellow Zealots holds a promise of escape.
But, the escape for the historical Eleazar and the Zealots came by
choosing their own death rather than be captured by the Roman soldiers.
This allegory is the same one that is spelled out redundantly throughout
religious his-stories and rituals. How
does one escape the beastly world (represented by Rome)?
Is it not by choosing death (represented at Baptism) and (hope of)
resurrection (rebirth)? Death,
of course, is not physical death, but spiritual.
When one gives up the world (yes, in our inverted meanings, we call this
life), one is reborn from death into life.
Figuratively speaking, one goes from (spiritual) death to life.
notice that the big secret of the preparatory gospel is that it works its magic
by frustration and giving up rather than by continuing in it until one gets
(it/all) through achievement. Achievement
is the way the world gets things and this is accomplished by effort.
the mind of carnal man is always leading him to chasing a golden goose and fighting a war made
(for him) in heaven. Things for him
become, appropriately, backwards (inverted). He thinks his enemy is without when
it is within. But, in this war made in heaven, one wins by
losing rather than winning.
Rather, winning comes after giving it up and choosing death.
This idea is an integral part of the Masada his-story as well as many
scriptural stories and many religious rituals.
Again, death means death to the carnal being that is itself death.
Death to death, so to speak. But,
not really, since all death is an illusion, it is more properly death to man's illusion. In dying, all that we
lose are our illusions and these are not real.
What waits is (spiritual) life.
Jesus phrased it that a man must lose his life to find it (Matt 10:39)
and was talking about this very thing, finding by losing.
But, there is something important to notice here.
When one gives up, one never achieves life as a (just) reward.
Rather, one ‘finds’ that which is already there and has been (waiting
for us) all along. The big joke
played out on us fallen beings is that great effort is not required. Life
has always been free. It couldn't be so otherwise.
One might also notice that in the scriptural record, the additional phrasing
about this is profound: “For
whosoever will lose his life FOR MY SAKE shall find it.”
(Matt 16:25) (capitals added for emphasis).
are prone to interpret this in terms of becoming a servant to the Jesus who
bought us with his own sacrifice. This
is despite the words of Jesus in the scriptures proclaiming us free
There is something in this symbolism that is almost universally
missed by those who call themselves Christians.
How many are willing to give up their own life for Christ’s sake? Hardly
any. In fact, most Christians are cheerful about the crucifixion and openly proclaim
their thanks that Jesus died for them. To them, the suffering of
Jesus as written in history isn’t optional. The real
problem is that carnal man wouldn’t dream of offering up his own life because
he loves it too much. He
would much rather that someone else give up their life for his sake.
And he thinks that if it is Jesus, that’s fine, especially since God
gave that to him and he died anyway.
After, all, it was God’s idea, right?
Carnal man doesn’t have a clue as to what it really means.
Many LDS will not feel comfortable with the idea that the church and the
gospel are the preparatory state because they think they are beyond that.
After all, Jesus already came to earth, right?
Again, that is perhaps because we cannot seem to see our history, yes all
of it, as a parable about the present time and place.
Because of that, we tend to view ourselves in the context of past and
future. We are prone to
proclaim that ‘Christ has come’ (past event) as well as ‘Christ will
come’ (future event) rather than ‘Christ is come’ (a present happening). We as carnal beings have a hard time perceiving
ourselves as living under the preparatory state (gospel) right now (in the
present) because we egotistically think we have done all that is required of us.
We have done everything accurately, right?
Yes, right down to every jot and tittle, or at least, we are trying hard at
it. This is despite the fact that the scriptural record tells a different
story. We should notice
that the scriptural record is one of the failure of God’s ‘chosen people’
to purify themselves rather than the opposite.
That is our-story. It
will make a lot of sense when one considers it carefully.
Again, this has everything to do with tokens, names, and signs as well as
history stories, parables, symbolism and creation.
Names and Parables.
As discussed above, when we think of history, including so called
‘scriptural history’, we carnal beings are prone to miss the real point of
it. We think that it is about the
past rather than the present. This is equally true in the case of LDS who popularly
view the Book of Mormon as a literal history and not much else.
The word history can be dissected into his-story.
That is, the stories of our past are popularly thought to be stories of
others (ie. His, that person’s, story) rather than our own.
So there is a great tendency to perceive these stories, first and foremost, as belonging to some other time and place. It is very difficult to see them as parables that are
our-story, about us. The
problem with this is that we do not benefit from what they really symbolize.
Those who study the scriptures diligently will find more treasures in them when they
begin to see them as real spiritual allegories and parables that are relevant to the
present time and place rather than mere historical accounts.
There is much more to consider in regard to histories being parables.
They are also names and names are parables. All of them are allegories that are dynamic in what they
represent (symbolize). One
might notice the LDS endowment name called the (name of the) Second Token of the
Melchizedek Priesthood is a parable.
It is not just a meaningless word, like a regular name, but a short
paragraph with some real meaning. Such we are meant to see. In it, there is a dynamic and a redundancy that is
thrilling to all who eventually see it.
In fact, the endowment ceremony is based on a parable (the creation
story), the entire endowment experience is a parable, the Temple itself is a
parable, and all of creation is a parable.
One might correctly call any of it a name or a token.
Again, names have (symbolic) meaning that is very real because it is what it is
about that is real rather than what it is (a symbol).
We fail to see what is real and what it all means because we are so
obsessed with those damned symbols. Please
pardon me if you are offended.
In this case, the word “damned” is not used as profanity, but to
enhance the correct meaning of “symbol” (though it is just another
redundancy). That is exactly why it is so profound in the LDS
endowment that tokens (symbols) have names (symbols) and signs (yes, more
symbols). It is a parable
itself. Moreover, it is not
very flattering to those of us who obsess ourselves with the wrong things.
But, that is what we carnal beings do.
We worship the images (symbols) rather than what is real so we get
a lot of them redundantly. When
we figure it out, we will laugh heartily at ourselves because we will realize
how well we’ve played this joke on ourselves.
We can blame none but ourselves for the life we live, a true comedy
rather than tragedy as we are prone to think at first.
Out of much sadness will ultimately come the laughter. It waits for
us, perfectly. We will laugh a lot when we can see perfection.
And it will heal a lot of old wounds.
Receiving names, giving names.
There are some interesting parallels in regard to how names are received.
First, one might notice that the endowment new old name is distinct from
what is called the “given name”, though in reality they are both “given”
(ie. The same). What is
called the given name is the one normally given you by your earthly parents at
birth. In that respect, the
endowment new name is also a given name because you are given it by another
(person) rather than taking it yourself or, rather, giving it yourself. This
is one of many layer-upon-layers redundancy found in this symbolism.
parent(s) named you with a given name at birth into the world.
Endowment patrons are given a new name by a representative of a Heavenly
Parent (represented by a temple worker) in an allegory of their birth as a new
being into heaven. Patrons
are then supposedly endowed by, among other things, being told a creation story
of Adam (who they are told to consider as themselves) who names the creation.
He first names Eve, then beasts, children, etc.
The male patrons thereafter pass through the temple endowment in
symbolism of following Adam (doing what he does) to later get his wife’s name
through the veil and afterwards get ‘sealed’ in marriage.
From there, a man has his own offspring (children; his creation) which he
(and his wife) give names. Again,
when thinking about this symbolism, remember that women and children are often
symbols of the creation itself.
It is impossible to offer thoughts on all of it in this narrative so I
will limit further thoughts on two anomalies in this story that, by appearing
out of place, are perhaps meant to draw our attention.
These are next.
does Adam get his name? One
might notice that nowhere in the creation parable is it stated where Adam gets
his own name, Adam. He
isn't known as Adam until he, supposedly, awakens from his deep sleep.
But, is Adam really awake?
It is clear from the creation parable that he is not.
Adam is living a lie. And Adam represents (symbolizes) us.
endowment, Adam represents fallen and carnal man who is told to awake, but
remains asleep, thereby said to be walking in darkness at noonday.
When he is faced with being cast from the Garden, he covenants to do all
that he is commanded. Moreover, he
appears to perform all of these covenants accurately, but then why is it that he
doesn’t get out of his fallen state and re-enter the garden?
Despite his apparent perfect obedience, he remains fallen. Perhaps this is an important place to ask why?
failure to emerge from the fallen condition despite intense efforts at perfect
obedience appear throughout what carnal man calls his scripture.
Despite those examples, fallen man can’t seem to get the point of it.
He wrongly perceives his failure in the context of obedience.
He feels that his failure at such things as acceptable sacrifice is
because he has missed something in regard to better obedience and that he must try
harder. So, he tries harder
at better (more accurate) obedience even though that isn’t the problem.
His problem is not in accurate obedience at all, but in failing to understand what is happening to him.
might utter a few profound words: “Welcome
to the preparatory state.” Endowment
patrons are rightly told that this (preparatory condition; Lone and Dreary
World) “is the world in which we now live.”
Although patrons are plainly told in the endowment that they, like Adam,
are living in the preparatory condition, they don’t seem to believe it.
“That’s not us. Oh, no.
We are a righteous people. And
who but a righteous person would be inside the Temple this day?!”
Adam will not
emerge from his fallen condition until he gets frustrated enough to give up what
he has been failing and transform himself into a completely new being.
Again, the preparatory state is not what is responsible for getting you
there, but rather it is one's failure to get there via the preparatory state that
leads one to give it up. Afterwards,
one learns to give it back correctly. Rather, one learns what consecration
Although some might tend to think that the preparatory condition is useless and
not needed, it has a grand purpose and that is why it exists in the first place.
It is a part of perfection, but a comprehension of how this is true is
something that may not be obvious to those hearing this for the first time. Because it is beyond the scope of this narrative, it
will not be discussed further here.
However, it may be helpful to return to how Adam is
named. One might notice that
it is said in the LDS endowment parable that Michael, “when he awakens from
his sleep… will be known as Adam.”
Michael IS KNOWN as Adam. What might be the significance of this?
Adam, because of being the first man of creation, is also what one might call
the ‘Firstborn’. In the LDS
scriptures, there is interesting phrasing in this regard to a ‘firstborn’:
“They who dwell in his presence
are the church of the Firstborn, and they see as they are seen, and KNOW AS THEY
ARE KNOWN, having received of his fullness and grace.”
(D&C 76:94) (capitals added for emphasis)
This has everything to do with names, most especially new names.
Again, names are symbols, tokens, and signs that signify what one is
being. Carnal man needs to
take time to contemplate who he is being.
At a certain time, he will come to KNOW HIMSELF.
And when that happens, he will come to ‘know as he is known’, though
not by the world. The world
never ‘knows’ because it is against its nature.
Until then, carnal and fallen man will continue to have many other names
in addition to Adam. It might
be correctly stated of the ‘firstborn’ that Adam is ‘one of his names.’
Since we are to consider ourselves Adam, we should consider that it has
everything to do with who we are, what we are doing, and what we are to be.
We might ask who this endowment tells us we are being? Well, since the endowment clearly tells us to
consider ourselves as Adam (and Eve), we might
consider that, as endowment patrons, we are acting out as fallen man (in the temple this day).
Eve means. An
apparent anomaly in the LDS endowment is in the parable of how Eve gets her
name. In the endowment
act, the Elohim present the woman formed from Adam and says to him,
“… here is the woman WE have FORMED…” (capitals added for
emphasis), and asks Adam what he will call her.
Adam responds that he will call her “Eve… Because she is the
Mother of All Living” to
which one of the Elohim responds by saying
“That is right, Adam; because she is the mother of all living.”
Even a casual observer would not be prone to miss such an obvious problem
here, but it is the norm for it to be passed over
Eve is certainly NOT the mother of all living.
It is clear that she is not the mother of the Elohim, nor is she the
mother of Adam. But, a
quick examination of this in regard to its metaphorical meaning appears to lack
something that makes sense too. It
requires deeper contemplation. Are
the Elohim agreeing with Adam’s error because they are trying to placate a
child in the usual way done by earthly parents?
Are there hidden symbolic meanings in this parable that represent
profound truths telling us of our error?
Perhaps so on both accounts.
It may be suggested that this particular event lies at the heart of one of the
greatest mysteries of the endowment and it is intricately interwoven into
another enigmatic statement made by the Elohim in reference to the fallen man
Adam (after he has eaten from the tree) that
“MAN (Adam) HAS BECOME AS ONE OF
US, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis
3:22) (capitals added for emphasis).
This event may represent one of the greatest truths hidden deeply in the
symbolism in the endowment story. Moreover,
it is all about who is who, the War (made) in Heaven, who is the God of this
earth, and what is really going on in this (the present) world of death and
Because of fallen and carnal man’s condition, he is prone to wrongly perceive
his world in terms of opposites. He
has ‘partaken’ of the ‘fruit of that tree’ and has done it so completely
that he doesn't remember that opposite to that which is constitutes illusion.
Adam eats from the tree and thereby comes to KNOW good and evil rather than just
good (ie. perceive perfection). Of course, this knowing opposites
of good and evil lies at the root of his
problem. Adam sees that
Lucifer and the Elohim are at apparent war (opposition), so he immediately
perceives it (as well as the rest of his world) in the usual terms of “bad”
and “good”, opposites. Lucifer
is ‘fallen’ and ‘bad’, therefore the Elohim must be ‘good’ and
‘not fallen.’ Adam is
prone to see it in terms of a war made (for him) in heaven.
To him, it is part of a great battle between good and evil, life and
death. But Adam might come
to consider that he worships the wrong God and has been doing so for a long
time. This emerges at
several places in the endowment parable, but usually passed over by patrons
without much thought. And
it has everything with who are the messengers one is listening to.
“Brothers and Sisters, put on your aprons!” It has
a grand purpose, but not as popularly understood. It's purpose has
to do with illusion itself.
It is clear that LDS doctrine teaches that God is a physical being with a body
of flesh and bones, making him a man.
But the difference between God and man in LDS theology is that God is a much more advanced version
of fallen and carnal man. Those
who delve into the deeper LDS doctrines will find the teaching that the Elohim
live on a planet that is nigh unto (near) a star called “Kolob” by the
Egyptians ("Sirius" in contemporary language). The endowment story has it that the earth was not
created, but organized. Moreover,
plants and animals were brought here from other places (ie. other worlds).
These ideas, of course, are not new ones at all. They did not
originate with Joseph
Smith, but are as ancient as man himself.
They are also found in nearly all of the secret societies that exist
among us today and are carefully embedded in our myths, traditions, and cultural
might consider what they may have never considered till now.
One might notice that these ideas are intricately interwoven into the
symbolism of the endowment story, but apparently unbeknownst to those (men) who
originally penned the endowment. After
Adam eats from the tree (on the enticing of Lucifer, one of the Elohim) and
becomes fallen, the Elohim rightly proclaim that
“MAN HAS BECOME AS ONE OF US” (ie. Man is fallen like
us)(These 'gods' KNOW good and evil).
Moreover, when the Elohim proclaim to Adam that Eve is (truly) the
‘Mother of all Living’, it is no mistake in the endowment, though perhaps a
mistake by man. It can
best be understood in regard to the truth that the Elohim are as obsessed with
the creation (Eve) as is Adam. The
LDS rightly teach that the Gods of men are men, but do they know what this
really means? This
idea is written throughout the entire record of creation for anyone who wishes
to see it. Moreover, it has everything to do with symbols and symbolism
because this is the creation itself.
Some who are well steeped in the ancient traditions, especially in religious
dogma, will have a hard time with the above suggestion because it completely
pulls the rug out from under their belief system.
These might be reminded of the idea of consecration and sacrifice. Although LDS hear that one must give up all one
possesses (even one's life) in consecration, there is a reluctance to believe it
because it is so hard to give up one's preciously held dogmas (beliefs) long
enough to see a new reality. Many
who are would quickly offer up their material wealth in consecration would not
even entertain the idea of giving up their pre-held notions because they are
much too important to them.
Those that have made it beyond consecration may come to realize that it is not
about not believing anything at all, but rather it is about seeing what one once
believed in new ways. Ironically, it works into believing
everything. And how does one do that?
That seems impossible because it is inconceivable to the mind of us
Christian religionists who (falsely) proclaim with our lips that we believe all
things, but really don't believe much beyond our own religious dogma. The
answer to the riddle of how one believes all things will not become apparent until one gets out of
the carnal mind. A new
understanding will come as a result of a
new way of seeing (perceiving) the world.
Old beliefs are not to be transformed, so to speak, but the believer. That
is, it is the believer that is (completely) transformed. After this
transformation occurs, one finds that everything
that failed to make sense before, now makes perfect sense and is in perfect
order. To carnal man,
it is a completely incredible idea that the world about him is perfect.
It remains beyond his understanding (is inconceivable) because he still doesn’t know what it
is all about.
Again, the idea that the Elohim are fallen beings may be disturbing to those who
are hearing it for the first time. To
these, it may help to consider that one should be looking for higher things.
In regard to God, it might help to begin asking who is the God of the
Elohim? In beginning
this voyage of discovery, it may be helpful to try to put aside preconceived
notions so that they don’t interfere.
Later, one might find themselves coming full circle and seeing these same
notions in different ways. To
those who have gone beyond, they may even appear more glorious (glory is
intelligence) than ever: Dynamic,
ever changing, filled with life.
In continuing this narrative, it may be helpful to comment briefly on the
idea of higher things.
LDS doctrine has it that our universe is roughly divided into three kingdoms of
glory (Telestial, Terrestial, and Celestial) in addition to a condition (Outer
Darkness) reserved for the most evil of beings. Moreover, entrance into these kingdoms are often
perceived in the usual context of 'the future' and “out there” rather than the
present time and place. One
might consider that these are mistaken impressions and part of an illusory
belief system that keeps fallen man from emerging from his state of spiritual
death. Here, we might take
time to leave the past, future, and “out there” mode of interpretation and
bring it into the present time and place of being. We might begin to look
at these things in new ways to discover new meanings. Moreover, we
may discover new meanings that are more real to us because they are about 'here
and now' rather than otherwise.
One might first notice that “Outer Darkness” is a redundant phrase (again,
they are symbols, names, signs, tokens) which describe the fallen condition which
is: (i) ‘outward’; living by
the physical senses alone; carnal; sensual;
and, (ii) ‘darkness’; the absence of light (intelligence;
understanding); in the condition of being fallen;
spiritual death. For most of us, that is the world (being) in
which we live (are known) now (though we don’t know it ourselves).
True to form, carnal man’s ego will tend to prevent him from
considering himself as anything but righteous.
However, one might take notice that endowment patrons are (correctly
told) that the Telestial (lone and dreary) world is that one of ‘death and
hell’ (redundant phrase; spiritual death) in which we (Adam and Eve; fallen
beings) 'live now'. The word 'live'
in the previous sentence has an accurate meaning as well as illusory one, but
that is something that takes a long time to get.
But there is much more than the limited view of worlds (kingdoms of glory) and
is meant regarding the other two kingdoms of glory (Celestial, Terrestial)?
Are these, too, meant to encompass all things in the present time and
place? Thoughtful reflection
will reveal that this is the case. So
where are the higher things?
We might consider that one of the barriers to finding higher things is thinking that
all worth knowing is already known (by us; in our theology).
One might first
notice that LDS
are prone to proclaim that there isn’t any kingdom higher than Celestial.
But is that really true?
Here we come full circle to revisit the topic of new names.
One might take time to contemplate the following passage in the LDS
cannon regarding new names and the celestial kingdom:
“… the white stone mentioned
in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummin to each individual who
receives one, whereby THINGS PERTAINING TO A HIGHER ORDER OF KINGDOMS WILL BE
MADE KNOWN; And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom,
whereupon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it.
The new name is a key word.”
(D&C 130:11-12) (capitals added for emphasis)
One might pay particular attention to two ideas that come out of this passage.
First, it clearly points to kingdoms higher than the Celestial, since
those celestial beings who have the white stone learn about ‘higher orders of
kingdoms’. Secondly, it
suggests how these (unknown) kingdoms are revealed to you.
And it seems that new names are a key.
Here we come
full circle back to the start of this narrative where we are trying to answer
what is meant by new names, but perhaps only now getting to the heart of the
matter. Carnal man
tends to see new names as consisting of spoken words such as “Adam”,
“Amos”, “Eleazar” or at best, a small paragraph of words like is spoken
in the (name of the) Second Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Fallen man wrongly perceives these things in terms of how he defines
(names) his own creation (carnally).
He thus misses what it means to “get” ‘a stone upon which a new
name is written that reveals a higher order.’
His literal mind thinks that there is a literal rock that he carries with
him and on it is inscribed something, a (secret) name. In
such a case, a celestial dweller would have to be careful not to forget it in
the pocket of other pants when changing clothes and be caught without it!
Well, perhaps there is profound symbolism in the LDS teaching that those
below the celestial do not ‘get it’ (the
Well, I am
hoping you are getting it now.
Like getting a joke, the best another one can do is try to explain it.
Getting it is something that one person can never do for another.
Back to the white stone and the new name.
As has already been discussed at length, these passages are firstly
allegorical and secondly literal, rather than the opposite.
But, the opposite is also true since what already is preceded the allegory
(creation). What is a stone or a rock?
In Christian symbolism, ‘stone’ or ‘rock’ is synonymous with
‘Christ’ or ‘Spirit of God’.
And what is the new name that is written thereon?
Perhaps this has everything to do with the endowment experience?
One might notice, again, that the Temple itself is a ‘name, symbol,
token’ and so is its endowment. As
symbols, it is what they represent that is important. They of themselves are counterfeits of what they
LDS temple-goers are prone to proclaim that they’ve been to the temple and
taken out their endowments. This
is an error of seeing it as a past event rather than present.
To them, it is a done deal, at least as long as one remains faithful to
the church leadership. They have gotten
their endowments. But
maybe there is another way of looking at it?
Perhaps it is helpful to consider the endowment is as an ongoing event in
the temple, something that is continually taking place?
Ye are the temple. Is
that so hard to accept? So
why is it that there is so much infatuation with the counterfeit (temple)?
Well, it is perhaps because we are still playing that fallen act.
And we continue in that perfection until we get frustrated and see the illusion
that we, ourselves, have created.
Please take time to consider that the LDS endowment represents (symbolizes).
In regards to the endowment act itself, one might correctly call it a symbolic endowment as well as a counterfeit
endowment (and many other names). But,
as a name and a symbol, it represents (symbolizes) something else that is real
(a real endowment; a real temple).
Inasmuch as ye are the true (living) temple, one might also consider the
endowment as something that happens inside you as a continuous (living) event.
This would mean that the LDS ritual is a meaningful symbol (token, name,
sign) of a living endowment that is continually in progress, a real event that
is meant to be happening right now in the present time and place (in you;
the Temple). Many LDS now stand at the veil, but do so oblivious to
it. Doesn’t that make more sense than the popular
way of understanding it?
In one respect, the true endowment comprises a name that cannot be spoken
because it is dynamically occurring all of the time rather than something that
is static (dead). We might
consider that when one who is experiencing the real endowment (of which the LDS
ritual is a symbol) is asked if they have had their endowment, they might reply
“No, I am having it.” If
asked if they’ve received their new name, they might reply “I am discovering
Ye are the temple. And it all
is continually happening. This
is living the spiritual life and is what occurs after one emerges from the
fallen condition. But there
is a lot more because this has been going on all the time, though not known.
More accurately, this is always happening, and understanding it
(perceiving what is) is what happens after carnal man ceases his infatuation
with his creation. In
emerging from the fall, man will discover what already is and has been all
Ultimately, this is why the new name is one that cannot be spoken (or
‘written’, except on one's heart).
It is because it is a living (dynamic) name.
God is in the process of re-creating himself and discovering by
experience who he is. That is the real purpose of creation and what living really
is. Every one of us is
doing that perfectly right now. At
some point, we will perceive it (find it) and proclaim it glorious (meaningful,
None can take you there. You must make the trip yourself, despite the fact that
we are already there, but don't know it yet. All of these paragraphs are nothing but more tokens.
They are, at best, like the fingers that point the way.
Don’t get caught up in them.
Ultimately, we come to see that these fingers profoundly point right back at us
(the true temple). That is what the names are about.
Do you consider
yourself to be a prophet?
I hope not.
We need to change our way of looking at prophets.
It isn’t a very flattering name because it is always connected to the
preparatory gospel and its heavy burden
of many laws. One might
notice the profound statement that appears at the end of the Old Testament in
the King James Bible: The
End of the Prophets. That
has some deep meaning. Whenever
we see ‘prophets’ and ‘the law’, we can know for certain that we stand
amidst the preparatory gospel.
Prophets are not needed otherwise and that is what is symbolized in the
phrase that Jesus is the ‘last’ High Priest.
The phrase “the law”, of course, is inclusive to mean the million or so laws
that come under it. In the
LDS D&C (130:20), there is a passage about “a law” that is decreed in
heaven. Of course, the phrase “a law” bespeaks a single law
rather than many. The issue
for most of us is to find out what that single law is.
When that happens, prophets will make more sense than they ever did
before, so to speak.
do you fight against the church?
The idea of
fighting against the church comes from the view that there is a war going on.
Again, this comes from a view that things are not perfect already and
this is a very egotistical and carnal (materialistic) view.
In reality, there is nothing to do except be.
Getting our thinking (being) out of the heaven/world at war mind has
everything to do with the phrase of ‘entering into the Lord’s rest’.
Hopefully, I’m resting at this time.
There is no
reason to change the church or fight against it because the church is indeed
perfect (ie. ‘true’). The
outer church, as a creation, serves its intended purpose and will exist that way
until it doesn’t, at which time it will pass away on its own.
I wouldn’t flatter my ego as to think that I would have a purpose in a
system that works fine without me. And
I am no different than you.
you LDS at one time?
Yes, I played
the part of a lockstepping LDS for about 25 years.
I joined the church at 18, went on a full-time mission (Japan) at 20,
attended BYU, got married in the (Salt Lake) Temple, was a certified veil
worker, and did too much praying but not enough obeying in the end.
As explained above, I was a real Zealot.
But, there is nothing wrong with any of this if that is what we desire. In fact, being the Zealot is what brought me to
sufficient frustration to give up all the acting and then move on to being what
I really am. But the Zealot is
history now. At least, I hope
I am LDS and have started getting into Freemasonry and its teaching by
symbolism. Do you think that I
should continue on this?
Freemasonry is as perfect as the church.
The fact that you are asking this question makes it clear that the right
answer is to stay with them. Indulge
yourself deeply in them until you don’t need to anymore.
When that time comes, you will know yourself and won’t need to be
asking me. They will have
served their purpose and you won’t have to find something else to do it
you think that the Book of Mormon is actual history or that it has a deep
It may be
better to first see the Book of Mormon as a history about the present rather
than the past. It
has a deep and profound meaning that simplifies as it gets closer to reality.
But, in regard to it being a literal history of the American Indian, it
doesn’t seem so. DNA fingerprinting has shown that the American Indian
is a genetic descendent of East Asia rather than Israel and much older in the
Americas than the Book of Mormon time frame.
But the literal historicity of the Book of Mormon is not something that
should be important to us, although it is to many who are deeply immersed in
Mormon theology. It’s
mostly because of ego and traditions.
There is a need to be right on former claims and many have a lot of
emotional investment in their traditions so it is hard to give them up.
the meaning of the Book of Mormon is the same as it is for the Bible, Koran, and
myriad other ‘scriptures' as well as the temple, endowment, churches, leaders,
names, symbols, tokens, and all of creation. We as fallen beings are always getting the tokens mixed
up with what is real. At
best, all are signs pointing to what is real.
We need to stop focusing on them so obsessively that we can’t see where
they point. The message
of all of these signs can be summed up in nine simple words (yes, more tokens)
to fallen man: “You have placed your faith in the
wrong place.” And where
is that? In them; symbols and
tokens, churches and leaders, doctrine and ritual: fingers pointing at the moon.
All of these symbols will fail (you) because that is their nature.