The Sacred Friend: Holy Tzaddik
The Righteous One is the Foundation of the world (Proverbs 10:25). Individuals in community who receive a special call and anointing to enter supernal stations of the soul embody something of the Righteous One, the foundation of the world. In the Christian Kabbalah, these Righteous Ones are called anointed tzaddikim or apostles. With a capacity for light transmission and the communication of the Holy Spirit, they act as teachers, initiators, and guides in anointed community, imparting something of the spiritual power of their realization.
The Gnostic Path is a path of initiation and discipleship. Those who reach into inner and higher stations have sought refuge in the manifestation of the mercy and grace of Messiah in tzaddikim, gnostic apostles, and the anointed community. This is the foundation of the gospel. Consider deeply at the Jordan River where John the Baptist initiated Yeshua, who praises John above all born of women (Matthew 11:11, Luke 7:28). His is praise of a disciple for his Tzaddik. Yeshua Messiah—the Perfect Tzaddik—brought forth a new cycle of initiation, light transmission, and communication of the Spirit of God for his disciples. This culminates in the upper room when the Risen Savior breathed upon them the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). This same breath became a violent rushing wind (Acts 2:2) at Pentecost when the Spirit consecrated the disciples with holy fire. Their public reverence for their Tzaddik moved the apostles to publicly honor Yeshua as the Righteous One (Acts 3:14, 7:52, 22:14). Among anointed tzaddikim, gnostic apostles, and their communities, this play of light transmission and communication of the Holy Spirit continues to this day.
Anointed Community: Body of Messiah—
Our tradition elaborates upon recurring images in apostolic writings of the body of Messiah: Now you are the body of Messiah and individually members of it (1 Corinthians 12:27). Messiah is indeed the head: Tzaddik is the heart: Disciples are its vital parts and members. The image of our forming the Body of Messiah is elegant, for there is no hierarchy in a healthy body. All of its figurative parts and systems must perform their attribute for the whole body to grow its vitality and ability serving others.
The head and heart—Messiah and tzaddik—ray out to the world through the companions. Our tradition closely cultivates the assembly of companions so that each come to embody a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, [to] proclaim the mighty acts of him who called [them] out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). As life tests the endurance of each of its members, the assembly matures. Fledged and flying with spiritual gifts, the community may receive and transmit greater influxes of the glory of God from its head and heart that radiate through all its companions. Myriad needs of unknown people tip in mercy when influxes from Messiah, through Tzaddik, are received and transmitted by anointed communities and the matrix of souls that believe.
The Gathering of Companions—
Founded on Yeshua—The Righteous One—the role of the first community that recognized and served him as Messiah deserves our equal attention. Centuries of theology have isolated Messiah to Yeshua, with little regard for the community that made receiving and grounding the Gospel possible. Messiah is more than a one-man show. The holy mothers Mary and Elizabeth receiving his and John the Baptist’s incarnation, the disciples’ instant recognition of Yeshua, and the role of the women patrons, all formed a matrix for the Messiah to be fully received and embodied through the first circle of companions. Gnostic gospels like Pistis Sophia even radically suggest that the souls closest to Yeshua had been placed into the wombs of their mothers by Messiah before their birth (I:7).
You are what we see (Gospel of Phillip). Anyone who recognizes the holiness of a Tzaddik today perceives Tzaddik within themselves: Whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me (Matthew 10:40). There is no other way this happens. With our opened mind and heart, we perceive Tzaddik, who is a mirror of Tzaddik within us. By cleaving to Tzaddik within, we draw nearer to Tzaddik without. We recognize sanctuary and support from within and without. Then the labor of Tzaddik becomes our own, extending light, communicating the Holy Spirit, and actualizing the anointing we’ve received. Reciprocity between disciples and Tzaddik grows the gauge of revelation. As members of the community come to greater knowledge, so in greater degrees may Tzaddik reveal the Divine Presence. The farther the revelation reaches, the more souls embody God in this world.