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The Deeper Symbolic Meaning of the Number 33

By Richard J Oldale,
June 28, 2019

In the abbreviated version decoding the symbolic meaning of 33, I illustrated in a nutshell how this most sacred of numbers represents an individual that has mastered mind and emotions. In essence, the 33 is somebody that discoveries their true nature.

If you’re visiting this page on mobile or have limited time, you may prefer to read the shortened version of the symbolic meaning of the number 33 first. You can always come back to this page when you are ready to delve deeper.

This article explores this concept in much more depth. I will present you with examples that enable you to get a profound understanding. I promise you, a return will be worth the revisit. Otherwise, stay with me and let’s dive in.

The Powerlessness of Perception

Essentially, the masses of mankind are deluded, blind and ignorant. Yes, I did say that and yes, I do mean that. You do not see the reality of a situation until you expand your conscious awareness and unveil the Truth.

What we experience in life is merely a perception projected from our subconscious mind. And we assume this projection is the one and true reality.

However, your conscious mind is only partially aware of what actually happens. The rest is your perception – a story fabricated for your benefit. Except oftentimes, the story is not beneficial.

This projection is based on information we have been told by our parents, teachers, family, peers, TV, ministers, writers and other sources from where we acquire information. Unfortunately, most of this information manifests as limiting beliefs and the 10,00 things of Taoism which are all ineffective.

All this limited information and other experiences are subsequently stored in the subconscious mind and manifest as ego. This is when the problems really start.

Ego is your false personality, your material desires, your delusions about life. Ego is your enemy. Even when you know it’s time to fight your ego, an alter ego tries to stop you. You have a lot of egos!

The Battle With Yourself

You may have noticed the ancient myths mention many battles. You find these scenes etched into the walls of temples too. Archaeologists and historians – bless ‘em – relate these scenes to historical events.

Whilst it is true the scenes may well be inspired by actual battles that did take place in history (because greedy, deluded and ego-driven leaders desired more), the true meaning is not a reflection of warring cultures:

Mythological wars are symbolic of the battle you face with yourself to take control of your conscious mind.
Modern psychology recognizes the conscious mind is only operational 90-95% of the day at most. The majority of your decision making comes from the subconscious mind.

It is the subconscious that makes us habitual. The subconscious mind also shapes your ego and makes you believe things that are not a reflection of your true nature.

As we’ve already established, the symbolic meaning of the number 33 is a reflection of an individual that has mastery over the desires of their subconscious mind.

Anyone that attains this level of conscious (Christ consciousness) is recognized as a Buddha. We don’t find Jesus, Mohammad or Buddha fighting anybody. The Gods fight. But the Gods reflect personality traits of mankind.

Genesis 1:27 “So God made man in His own image.”

In Buddhism, there is a story about the descent of the historical Buddha known as the Trayastrimsha Heaven. The sutra is said to chronicle Buddha’ Gautama’s descent from Mount Meru where the 33 Gods reside.

Trayastrimsha Heaven has eight heavens in each cardinal direction totalling 32 heavens that encompass the central heaven, home to the Supreme God, Shakra. Shakra is known as the “protector of Dharma.”

Dharma is the opposite of Karma. It involves living life virtuously in accordance with the noble eightfold path. Karma transforms dharma.

It is by following your dharma and living life in alignment with your conscious Will that you eventually find your Buddha-nature. The God within.

That’s easier said than done, however.

Who is the God Shakra?

Shakra essentially represents the divine in mankind; man’s ability to attain Buddha-nature. He still has desires but is able to control them. For example, he does not want to leave his palace because he is so content there. He even tells his worshippers to be reborn in his Kingdom.

The Trayastrimsha Heaven represents the human mind and body. Its walls are adorned with seven gems – the seven energy centres, or chakras. At the centre is Lord Shakra – living in pure bliss.

Shakra is the equivalent of the Hindu God, Indra. In the early Vedas, Indra was recognized as the most Supreme God. He is recognized as the protector of the military aristocracy and the Kshatriyas warriors.

Here again, we find the concept of the battle within. Indra is renowned for his ability to defeat asuras – the demons of the subconscious mind. Indras weapon, the Vajra, is a thunderbolt.

In symbolism, lightning represents the connection between the physical realm and the spiritual realm. In other words, man’s ability to connect with – or communicate – with your higher conscious mind.

Let’s look at that concept in another ancient myth.

The Symbolic Meaning of 33 in Christianity

The number 33 appears at significant moments in the Bible. For example, the 33rd time Noah’s name is mentioned in the Bible is when God promises him salvation.

Genesis 9: 8-17: “Again, God said to Noah and his sons:

I am going to make a solemn promise to you and to everyone who will live after you. This includes the birds and the animals that came out of the boat. I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood.”

“The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise.”

The rainbow represents the seven chakras. Remember, the seven jewels in the 33 Heavens of Trayastrimsha. Do you notice the similarities between the Buddhist Shakra and the promise of God in the Bible? Indra, the god of thunderstorms, is also found pictured with a rainbow in the background.

What are the “chakra” energy centres?

Chakras are energy centres that can be used to destroy personality traits, outdated belief systems that no longer serve you and bad habits that generate bad energy. Bad energy brings “bad luck”. It is therefore in your best interests to transform energy.

You can transform energy by changing your habits. This is the battle you have with yourself. The habitual mind is not so easy to overcome because ego tricks you into believing what you are doing is the best thing for you to do. Even when the conscious mind knows what the ego wants is not advantageous.

How many times have you fallen for temptation even though you knew it was not the right thing to do? You know those moments when the ego desires you to fulfil a habitual need, and even though you consciously try to resist, emotions get the better of you and you cave in!

When you don’t make sacrifices, you don’t transform energy. Ultimately, you don’t raise your vibration and attain the 33rd state of consciousness. At 33, Jesus sacrificed his life and was reborn a Buddha.

The reason for your weakness is because the subconscious mind has a duty to help you survive. It is programmed to protect your emotional needs.

Every action you have habitually performed in the past is stored in your subconscious. So when you enjoyed a particular experience, the subconscious logged the experience with the emotion. Now when you have thoughts or memories of the experience(s), your subconscious intensifies the emotional power it has the ability to deliver over you.
Which is why habits are so difficult to overcome!

Eventually, you outgrow habitual behaviours, but when the realization dawns in the subconscious mind, you then have to fight with the subconscious mind to change the programming.

When you can make sacrifices you expand your conscious awareness. When you overcome emotions against all material desires, you achieve Christ consciousness – the 33rd degree of consciousness.

In Revelation, it takes ‘God’ three and half years to accomplish the final judgement that leads to the “second coming of Christ.” God is a euphemism for energy and higher conscious states.

The second coming of Christ merely relates to awakening consciousness in the 33rd degree. The Bible’s reference to three and a half is the number of turns it takes for the ‘kundalini energy’ to travel from the root chakra, up the Sushumna to the crown chakra.

This corporal journey is symbolized by the kundalini serpent which is represented as a coiled snake or the caduceus associated with the Greek God, Hermes – the messenger of the Gods. Hermes is the only God which can travel between the higher and lower realms.

Which brings me nicely to my next point. This is the ability you acquire when you reach the thirty-third state of consciousness: the ability to communicate with your higher self directly.

The Esoteric Connection with 33 and Jacob’s Ladder

The biblical story of Jacob’s ladder also informs us that the ancients had an understanding of the electro-biological system on mankind. The writers use the number 33 symbolically, but modern science helps us decode the true meaning.

Jacob has 33 children with his wife and the 33rd time his name is mentioned in scripture, he has the vision of his infamous ladder.

“And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!. The Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord…I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you.”

Note here how God tells Jacob he will Bring him “back to this land”. Remember Shakra from the Buddhist myths also invited his worshippers into his “heaven”.

In Kabbalistic traditions, the story of Jacob’s ladder is said to describe the relationship between man’s existence in the two worlds of earth and heaven – body and mind.

Heaven, as you know is “the Kingdom of ‘God’ and god is energy. Energy flows through our body and is encoded with DNA that enables our body to function. It is the brain that sends these messages.

The ascending angels, according to Kabbalists, are prophets who can transcend the two worlds of spiritual awareness. The descending angels come to deliver their wisdom.

As Gods messengers, the angels are the thoughts that pop into your head which trigger neurotransmitters – chemical messengers – in relation to the emotions linked with the thought.

The biblical philosopher Philo Judaeus wrote that “angels represent souls.” In my opinion, souls, and thus angels, represent states of consciousness which impact thoughts and feelings and ultimately characterizes our DNA.

The Mind-Body Connection

Although this is speculation on my part, DNA is coded with the cosmic intelligence of nature. In its pure state, it is most likely to be complete and in perfect condition. DNA, after all, is nature.

However, what scientists do know is that DNA is damaged by toxic neurotransmitters secreted by the brain. Furthermore, damaged DNA has been linked to debilitating illnesses.

Toxic chemicals are released by the brain in relation to fear-based emotions, the foundation of which is typically stress. Although neurotransmitters occur naturally and are designed to protect our physical and emotional survival, fear-based emotions are usually the product of false and faulty emotions stored in our subconscious mind.

The human mind is programmed to perceive threats where in fact, there is no threat. These corrupted programs are induced by limiting belief systems designed by society and pushed through media, education, political and religious channels.

So how can we break away from the virus of society? By expanding conscious awareness and seeing the real Truth. Attaining the 33rd degree of consciousness and climbing Jacob’s ladder at Will. Connecting directly with your higher self.

But what is the esoteric significance of Jacob’s ladder exactly?

Well, the human spinal column has 33 bones. Jacob has 33 children. The vertebrae start at the root chakra and end at the base of the brain en-route to the crown chakra. The vertebrae channels messages between the brain and the rest of the body through the central nervous system together with the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. This is your Jacob’s ladder which the “angels” – messengers of God (energy) – ascend and descend.

33 and the Star of David

Knowing about the flow of energy is not enough to understand how you can channel energy effectively. But again we find clues in the symbolic meaning of the number 33. This time in relation to King David.

The Bible tells us that King David ruled the Jews for 40 years. However, you must pay particular attention to the number of years during his reign as they are significant.

The first phase of his rule was only over the tribe of Judah. This lasted for seven years – representing the seven energy centres of the body. The chakras are positioned along the spine and play a significant role in the distribution of energy.

After ruling Judah for seven years, King David is then said to have ruled over Israel for 33 years. Israel gets its name from Isis – the female principle, Ra – lower consciousness and El – higher consciousness.

Here we have the three aspects of consciousness, higher and lower thoughts which subsequently trigger emotions. Kind David is also associated with defeating demons, the battle mankind has to face in order to climb “Jacobs Ladder” and transcend into the higher realms of consciousness.

It is by having the right thought, right emotion and right action that we transcend consciousness. In doing so we also overcome our demons. The imagery within the Star of David symbolically explains the importance of balancing thoughts and emotions.

You can track whether you are raising your conscious awareness. The positive aspects of the 33 cultivate a determination to seek an understanding of wisdom and to teach others how they can also raise conscious awareness.

The negative aspects of the number 33 manifest as feelings of superiority. According to some sources, it can lead to fanaticism and martyrdom which is why the Catholic church identify martyrs with saints.

Do you want to know how ancient symbolism can help you succeed in life?

Master Mind Content offers online self-development courses. We have several in-depth guides that explain how symbolism relates to the body-mind-energy connection. Understanding symbolism can help you make important decisions, improve your quality of life and understand more about yourself and your relationship with the world around you.

Richard Oldale
Master Mind Content is a leading authority in decoding ancient symbolism . Our research unveils the secrets to understanding and taking control of the the subconscious mind, channeling energy to self-heal and effectively using universal laws to fulfil your potential.

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