At the heart of symbolism

The Vatican flag

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Vatican flag

The supreme pontiff

The “triregnum”, the three crown papal tiara, constitutes a representation of the distinction of the three worlds, which is common to all traditions, mainly the celestial, human and terrestrial worlds or the celestial, terrestrial and infernal worlds. These worlds do not designate places as in the usual meaning, but states or modes of being related to principles.

The celestial world represents the superior states of the being, the terrestrial or infernal world the inferior states and the intermediate world the human states.

The ascent towards the superior states is preceded by a descent in Hell as the being has to exhaust all inferior order possibilities potentially carried within himself. It is more a question of getting consciousness than going through their effective manifestation. Such a passage ends up with the realization of all human possibilities in order to reach the human state in its entirety. This state of redeployment of all human being possibilities corresponds to the “eidetic” state.

Papal cross symbolFrom that state, he will be able to rise towards superior states going through Purgatory, an intermediate step between terrestrial or human and celestial world, before reaching a supra-human and properly spiritual state. This last state corresponds to the redeployment of the total being possibilities.

The Pope, as a human representative ruling over the three worlds, symbolizes the Pontiff, which means the bridge linking them or the ascent path from inferior to superior states of being. He is a picture of the World Axis represented by the vertical branch of the papal cross. As such, he is fulfilling the mediator function between Earth and the Heavens and establishing the communication between the three worlds, represented by the three horizontal bars. Note the similarity with the Chinese ideogram “Wang” (Emperor). Concerning this subject, see dollar and euro.

The key power

Initiation opens the path to knowledge and spiritual realization with the help of both golden and silver keys, giving respectively access to total and human being states, to celestial and terrestrial Paradise, to eternal and re-generated life.

In the Latin tradition, the God of initiation, Janus (from “janua”, which means gate), is depicted with a double face, each of them associated with one of the golden and silver (sometimes represented by a sceptre) keys. Both keys open and close the gates giving access to the Great Mysteries and Little Mysteries corresponding respectively to total and human being state.

The golden key is a sacerdotal or spiritual authority attribute; the silver key or sceptre an attribute of royal or temporal power. The two keys are intertwined as the temporal power, traditionally, consists in applying the divine principles.