Mary Anne ATWOOD
Hermetic Philosophy & Alchemy:
A Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery
An Exoteric View of the Progress and Theory of Alchemy
Chapter I ~ A Preliminary Account of the Hermetic Philosophy, with the more Salient Points of its Public History
Chapter II ~ Of the Theory of Transmutation in General, and of the First Matter
Chapter III ~ The Golden Treatise of Hermes Trismegistus Concerning the Physical Secret of the Philosophersí Stone, in Seven Sections
A More Esoteric Consideration of the Hermetic Art and its Mysteries
Chapter I ~ Of the True Subject of the Hermetic Art and its Concealed Root.
Chapter II ~ Of the Mysteries
Chapter III ~ The Mysteries Continued
Chapter IV ~ The Mysteries Concluded
Concerning the Laws and Vital Conditions of the Hermetic Experiment
Chapter I ~ Of the Experimental Method and Fermentations of the Philosophic Subject According to the Paracelsian Alchemists and Some Others
Chapter II ~ A Further Analysis of the Initial Principle and Its Education into Light
Chapter III ~ Of the Manifestations of the Philosophic Matter
Chapter IV ~ Of the Mental Requisites and Impediments Incidental to Individuals, Either as Masters or Students, in the Hermetic Art
The Hermetic Practice
Chapter I ~ Of the Vital Purification, Commonly Called the Gross Work
Chapter II ~ Of the Philosophic or Subtle Work
Chapter III ~ The Six Keys of Eudoxus
Chapter IV ~ The Conclusion
Table Talk and Memorabilia of Mary Anne Atwood
(Begun August 1860)
(1) The magic of the self-will is that which the Egyptians practiced in the days of Moses; this is to be found in the release or setting free the third or lowest life. Of this power we know nothing in this present life, the ordinary life of man; we may imagine into it, and theoretically see it, but that is all; nor do we know it in the common entranced life, i.e., the life of the sleep-walkers; but this present life may be led through the clairvoyant life into it (that is the wonderful part of it) by the fermentation of itself.
(2) As this life being fermented by this life, its similar, leads into the common trance, or is entranced, so that consequent life being fermented subsequently by its similar, leads into that third life which moves in and with the creative Essence, so that the mind becomes in that case related to the Universal Vitalizing Power, and so can act Its will.
Power thus gained is only legitimate, just and righteous when the will subserves the commandment and law of God; taken into the self-will and used accordingly it becomes diabolical; hence the distinction between the Ďmight in word and deedí of Moses and the Ďenchantmentsí of the Egyptians.
(3) The Universal Spirit is in one form the Principle of all growth, and it is their power of collecting a quantity of this, bringing it to bear on any germ at once, that furnishes the Eastern jugglers with their power of perfecting suddenly those plants and trees which in the ordinary course of the action of this Life-principle in Nature would have taken years.
(4) Magicians, like the Egyptians of that day, drew only from their own strength, that was the way in which the kingdom of Egypt fell; probably they did not originally act in self-will, but drew their power from the Divine Source, as Asclepius says (see the Dialogue, so called, the 2 nd Book of Hermes, ch. 9) alluding to their falling off into debasement and idolatry.
(5) Alchemy is an universal art of vital chemistry, which by fermenting the human spirit, purifies, and, finally dissolving it, opens the elementary germ into new life and consciousness; and the Philosopherís Stone is the efflux of such a life, drawn to a focus and made manifest as a concrete Essence of Light, which Essence is the true Form or Idea of Gold. The process takes place in and through the human body in the blood, changing the relation of its component parts or principles, and reversing the circulatory order, so that, the sensible medium becoming occult, the inner source of its vitality is awakened, and the consciousness at the same time being drawn centrally, comes to know and feel itself in its own true Source, which is the Universal Center and source of all things.
(6) And since every being has in himself the cause of his own existence, if, by these alleged means the consciousness can be brought into contact with its First Cause, he will, in knowing It know the cause of all, since Existence is everywhere one and universal, and in fact the one ultimate essential mystery under God.
This Mystery is, as the Hermeticists teach, to be discovered by an artificial dissolution of the natural bond of life, resulting in a regeneration of the dissolved separated elements, under a reversed law; the will holding and drawing from its proper efficients operates, and mind becomes creative and immortalized in it.
(7) The law of Will in these higher states of being is to have motion from its own center. It has motion in itself, this motivity when in act evolves an effervescence of the Will-being or substance; for Will has substance, nay, is the only substance; it is the Universal Loadstone of Existence.
This effervescent efflux is in itself chaotic, and requires to be taken up by an external mind or intelligence, and this mind, when thus related to it, and under its law, becomes creative and immortalized.
(8) As long as we in our life go on in a line we are not immoral, but when our life is returned in faith (for it is faith which reunites) to its beginning, it forms the circle and is in Eternity.
It must also be observed that there is a law of Light, which must move through Love in the will, and so act on the will-moved mind, and to which it must be subservient, else it breaks and becomes demoniacal.
The wonderful part of the process is that the spirit becoming freed from the body, carries on the perfection and purification of her own vehicle --- the soul.
There is a time when the power, the vital or willing-power, is seated in the lumbar region and is sent back.
I think there is a time, when the mind comes into relation with the macrocosmic spirit, and discerns it, and is taught by it (cf., Vaughanís Writings on the Chymical Wedding, p. 4).
(9) The perpendicular line is the Divine line in all things; the transverse line is the contrary; the two united form a cross +. In mesmerizing and de-mesmerizing we form a +. It is curious that by this peculiar action the perpendicular line should withdraw you from sense while the transverse restore you to it.
(10) The fire of life in us is capable of burning erect, it becomes a magnet! Wonderful!
If, in us, the Divine line were stronger than the transverse one, we would no longer be in sense. The Divine or rather celestial life would be established over it innus, and we should be conscious of it, and placed in a transcendental relation.
And, as the sky appears to us concave and, when cloudless, blue in color, so the Upper Ether, where the Ideas are, appears to the exalted spirit, i.,e., the spirit in the medial life, as its azure sky.
N.B. --- The brain is to this outward life what the spiritual head is to the spirit. There is, as the Swedenborgians would say, a correspondence between them.
(11) The limbs in the microcosm play a most important part in this mystery for the evolution and perfecting of the Divine within; it is thus that the body is regarded by St Paul as a temple of the Holy Ghost, and it is for this, that in their highest and ultimate use, its different members have their being; they are a laboratory that is of and for the spirit to work in.
(12) The order adopted by the Hermetic writers may seem to be most disorderly, but it is not so much so as it appears; the fact is, they often described different phenomena occurrent in the different repetitions of the process; see for example the Golden Treatise. He fermentative process has to be gone over and over again, and thus the author of that Treatise seems purposely to confuse and intermix the several steps taken in the work, when in reality he is describing the stages taken and the results reached, as the Artist begins, ends, and repeats the mysterious experiment.
(13) The macrocosmic image of the microcosm is the downward-born nature of which Hermes speaks very finely in the Poemander. It is the Eve which Adam brought forth, and in which he beheld as an image his own soul, the Absolute Idea of the Beautiful, the Divine image; the reason why it is macrocosmic, passive and ephemeral is its want of consubstantiality; it is an image, thrown forth, which image of perfect beauty attracts the soul, and united to it brings forth the ideal into an actual offspring.
(14) The Hermetic sepulcher is the vehicle of the dead Divine Life within us, and at the same time it is the death of itself --- Ďidem est sepulchrum ac cadaverí.
(15) The Gold Alchemical is the first conceived Paternal Light --- it is the seed metaphysical of mineral gold, which Aeneas was told by the Sybil that he must find and gather.
(16) The Ďorient animalí means the animal (that is, the opposite) will which is clothed in Light; the third which rises in opposition to the first.
(17) The Golden Fleece is the outward appearance presented by the light of Life diffused over the body of the seeker in the third life; it is of a purplish luster.
The seeker, however, in this point of relation, is the adept, the discoverer, the finder.
(18) In the lower development of the Hermetic life, the quintessences successively form themselves, having each of them a spherical capacity and wholeness, but these world forms are unstable and, uninformed with the Light Essential, resolve and die.
(19) In the vital changes which are intimately connected with the spirit changes concurrent in the process, the vital force in the blood undergoes alchemical changes in its relation to the body. There are three principles in this force, Attraction, Circulation, Repulsion --- the Alchemical Salt, Mercury, Sulphur. What is really changed is the magnetic attraction; the medial spirit is changed; life is attracted in, instead of out.
(20) We must remember that Alchemy is Divine Chemistry, and the transmutation of Life; and therefore that which is the medium between soul and body is changed, and the soul freed from the chains of corporeity, and the body is left as a mere husk. These people put on their bodies as mere coats.
(21) The principle of body is preserved in what they call the ashes or Caput Mortuum, and that one principle being saved the whole life is restored from it; Khunrath call it Ďour pigmyí, also the Ďdiadem of the bodyí, and I think he refers to it under the term Duanach.
(22) It is a curious thing that the Third Principle, i.e., the sidereal and elementary birth, to use Boehmeís language, is the medium of perceiving the First, which is hidden in its mineral life; that life is full of defilement and temptation; it is therefore necessary, before going into it consciously, that the will and purpose be perfectly pure and simple in this return of the reason to its First Cause; the motive is segregated from the whole life as a pure Light allied to that which it seeks.
(23) The word fermentation conveys an idea of the perfecting principle and of the possibility of transmutation beyond any other word, and also of the fixation or everlasting preservation of which they speak; and so of immortality, it is the best image of the Divine Art which earthly processes give.
Alchemy is a process of fermenting the vital Spirit in and by its own Light.
The Vital Spirit is in the Universal as well as in the individual.
In the Art the individual draws the Universal. The best illustration of the Art as a fermentative process is given by Basil Valentine in his Keys. It is through this Art that man is brought into relationship with God, hence it is called by the Adepts Holy Alchemy; thus Norton says --- "It s most profound philosophy, this subtle science of Holy Alchemy".
The moment men begin to reduce the ontological ground taken by Adepts to physical science they begin to twaddle.
(24) Lorenz Oken (I, London, Ray Society, 1847) is a man who will be appreciated some day, I suspect. He is a man who deals with nature in that higher way, never in that lower; it strikes me that of all writers Oken best evolves Causal Truth into the outward forms of life.
(25) There are three Lives to be represented. The Terrestrial, the Celestial, the Infernal. The Terrestrial is the sensuous and represents the Animal Kingdom. In man it is dominating the head.
The Celestial is the emotional, receptive, instinctive life, and represents the Vegetable Kingdom. In man it resides in the epigastric region and the heat; the solar plexus, the Archaeus of Paracelsus, is its workshop.
The Infernal is the voluntary agent in life, and represents the Mineral Kingdom. In man it resides in the lumbar region.
Each of these lives is dominant in the Kingdom of Nature to which it is especially attached; in fact, it is its essential quality, its substance.
We must remember that man, being a microcosm, comprehends and represents the whole and each.
(26) The aim in the Work is to reverse the whole action of these lives in their natural order. Man is fallen; he is in the third or lowest life, and this third life has to be raised up and born through the medial or celestial life, and becomes receptive of the Divine. Man must not dare to aspire to that highest life which is over this birth and which is typified by the terrestrial or head life, since if he were there he would become Creative --- he would be taking to himself the Divine Will.
(27) That which in the hands of fools is nothing in that of a philosopher becomes to be all in all --- says one; all depends on the willing and the intention --- ex fine cujusvis intentionis resultat principium ejus, and so, too, it is true and less paradoxical that finis ab origine pendet. The difficulty is to find this principium, the intention; for the rational ferment, the pure aurific seed of Light, is hidden in this life of ours.
(28) Will creates an image, not a being. The will passing into desire for the image creates it by union with itself into a being; it begets itself out of itself, as it were out of its own image (c.f., Behmenís Three-fold Life, chap. 10, 12).
(29) The powers developed, of which the Adepts speak, are produced from emotional sources in the heart, which emotional influences qualitate those powers; contrition, live, purity, mercy, humility, are such emotions and are producible not so much materially as essentially. Emotion beings forth essence, and essence is qualitated, i.e., specificated, and receives form from Ideas or the universal forms of Nature; thus, in lower degree and unlawfully, man may specificate and qualitate from his own mind; in this consists the true idolatry against which the Bible so strongly protests, and that Magic which originated Talismans, Palladia, etc.; it is a taking the First Mater which is humanly producible, and forming it finitely and for any particular object or individual end.
(30) The fire of the natural life entering into and fermenting the natural fire --- the same life in another --- opens the last, and develops and excites and sets free the celestial Life and Light --- that is one main principle.
The third principle is developed in like manner. The fourth contrariwise; it is a procreation of the third through the second --- a retrogression. The mystery is a wonderful one, the phenomena are constant throughout. It can be talked about in such a commonplace way and yet it is so far above the apprehension of the common life.
(31) The spirit teaches its own art, and according as it is obeyed the artist goes on developing the way for him to advance itself to perfection.
Ut ventus qui flat, est ille qui dat is one of the old Alchemical sayings and it is full of meaning. No doubt this is analogous to our Lordís words, "The wind bloweth where it listeth". He who imparts the spirit to another is as the wind that blows, moved by an influence external to itself. Qui capit, ille sapit is another, and refers to the wisdom imparted by the reception of the Afflatus, since it awakens in him a consciousness related to the universal.
(32) When one life being fermented throws its life to another equally fermented, a greater perfection is produced in the patient than was before in the agent who imparts it. That is the law of progression of the Vital force; --- sic itur ad astra!
(33) There is no such thing as truth absolute in nature, because she has no true conceptive vehicle; all her conceptive life is deformed and falsified, so that, as Raymond Lully says, "The pure matter of the philosophers is not to be found on earth". In the application of universal principles you must have a pure conceptive medium; that is true which is conceived simple, without any heterogeneous element; thus Light in its ether is truly manifested. Give a perfectly true mirror, the reflection of objects would be true. Thus everything depends on the purity of the receiving power. You may find out in Plotinus how that pure matter is generated.
(34) The Hermetic Art is a perfectioning of the third or lowest or the mineral life in man; and typifies throughout the celestial and Divine; see Khunrath who teaches this essentially.
We live in but one life, the head life, but there are three possible lives; i.e., there is a power of entering into three modes of consciousness: either in the sensible, the perceptive, or the power life; this last conjoined to the other two makes them efficient. We have no right to be efficient in the present head life; our business is to be efficient in the medial life --- in faith; then we are efficient for the life immediately over us --- the divine. Our present state is one of inversion.
(35) The analogy insisted on by Khunrath and Grsaeus in his Aquarium between the Philosopherís Stone and Christ the Head Corner Stone is more than pardonable: it is a versimilitude, and is founded on the fact that our Lord is the embodiment and representation and perfection of the highest moral and spiritual life of man, and the Stone of the Wise is the perfected lowest life, its true consummation, which is mineral in its origin.
(36) Hermetism is the magnetism of Light according to its own law, which Law is its emanating spirit called wisdom, for it is the Wisdom.
(37) Nature has taken from the primal source into a will is the history of the Fall. The Art is a question put to Nature respecting the first cause, and it is an extortion from Protean and Sphynx-like forms of the true answer. To whom, where, in what form, is the question addressed? To the stronghold of the Sphinx herself in the spirit in man. This spirit being reason-gifted can answer if rationally interrogated.
(38) Our life goes forth into a line at present, it has to be taken up into a circle; in other words life has to be taken back into its forst source; the serpent with his tail in his mouth is the chosen illustration of this reduction of the linear into the circular life.
(39) The Walls of Troy are a figure (and were meant by the poets and traditionalists to be so) of the insphering of the lower life; it is done in a great resonance. Those walls were said to be built by the music of Apollo. Apollo is that life, and it is coruscant, and in the setting free of that center, of that coruscation, there is a harmony; what Behmen calls the Mercurius, or spirit of the Sound, is evolved; the ether round the sun is compacted and solidified.
The throwing down of the Walls of this is harmony-ensphered life is the Alchemical solution; and this also is accompanied with noise, as Haly says; in another figure the roots of the mineral Tree are in the air; its summit in the earth, and when they are torn from their places a terrible sound is heard and a great fear is felt. Compare also the Chaldaic Oracles (Article Hecate, etc.).
However, when this nature is born in us it asserts itself (or rather, I should say, He asserts Himself, for it is more that It) through us (c.f., Hermesí Golden Treatise, cap. 4).
(40) The body of brass is the impure natural-born vital spirit.
(41) The Hermetic Philosophy is a process of experimentation into the Universal Spirit through man; it is a development of the art by which a particular spirit (to use Vaughanís words) is allied to the universal.
(42) The Vegetable spirit is the growth-causing spirit, that which is predominant in the vegetable kingdom.
(43) The whole image of the macrocosm is formed, and has consequently its typical representation, in the Microcosm, and is evolved before the mental eye in the recreative process of the regeneration (c.f., Nic. Flamel).
(44) In the work, wherever there is power there is a conflict: the multitudinous enemies try to rush in, the self-willed spirit endeavors to gain the mystery and offers all its lures in order to get the end for itself; strange mystery it is.
(45) I think that the soul comes into this body with the dream of its whole afterlife presented to it. And that is its destiny. This would, however, involve us in a fatalism, if it were not that we may rise above this evestrum, as Paracelsus calls it (Phil. Ad Athen, B. 2). The will is always above it, but then it influences the will that does not see beyond it, by giving that will motive; we are moved very often by it, may, seldom pass beyond it, unless moved by Godís grace (the Divine evestrum, relatively to man), and so are enabled to overcome it.
The real mystery is so very wonderful, great and close, that one cannot venture to speak of it in ordinary language.
(46) The third life, the mineral or lowest life in man, brings you into contact with the Macrocosmic mineral life; for wheresoever we stand ourselves, there is the relation of the outward life to us itself formed. The Vegetable and Animal lives are higher than the mineral life in us.
(47) Those who are Hermetically regenerated in this world have given up the Head life or the animal, the rational life (not the Divine inseeing of the Celestial life), they cut themselves off from it; they renounce a word, their life is sealed in another Covenant, they enter into our Lordís life by a sacrifice in faith that they shall be restored ultimately by Him when he has received for Himself the Kingdom and is returned. Jobís story is all a type of that.
(48) The Alchemical symbols, phrases, metaphors, which so disguise the art are more than what they seem; they point out a reality, and were we in the spirit of their truth we should find them to be far more true literally than they are thought to be.
(49) It strikes me that Behmen is the deepest writer on ontological subjects; he is not so scientific as the Platonists, but he is more descriptive, awakening, suggestive of truth.
(50) When an entrance is effected into the Signature, then there is a clearing of the understanding to see in the Divine Wisdom the life, and to hear, by the Divine Utterance, the specific articulation of things, the knowledge of things in their roots, "out of their essence", as Behmen says, "through the principle in the sound with the voice". Signatura Rerum, chap. I, 1.
(51) The speech of Mind uttered into the pure Ether qualitates and specificates. The Ether is two-fold: the mundane, which is full of the false forms; the pure, which is not of this world but is connected with the supersensual life.
(52) There is no true body but Will; it is the principle of the body --- the Salt.
(53) Behmenís three primary forms and his doctrines on the going forth of the Absolute Will from non-being into manifestation, are modes of expression by a man of a conscious experience of the creative mystery; such words of his as hardness, enclosing, coldness, attraction, compunction (Signa. Rerum, Ch. II, 12) are intended to express qualities which, acting in the Spirit, become qualitative; they describe spiritual emotions both active and reactive, for such words are not mere theories or suppositions, but expressive, as far as such an instrument can be, of internal knowledge and consciousness. In the Universal, as was the case with Behmen, you must have the Universal developed in you before you can understand the Universal.
(54) The whole doctrine of the ontological infolding is emanation; emanation from the superstantial Light or will. The darkness is the emanation and that which before was qualitated and flat become cubic my multiplication into itself. It is Mathesis becoming geometric.
(55) If you find the Wisdom, and coming out in the Spirit of Wisdom, look into the world, then you may see as Solomon did the nature and virtues of all things. The Philosopher, says Sendivogius, in a very eloquent passage, "looks not out on nature with the eyes of common men".
(56) Alchemy is the art of fermenting the human vital spirit in order to purify it and finally to dissolve it, so that the principle be reconstructed through a regeneration.
(57) There is a dualism or relation of two in all things plus the one and the three. The great principle of the number seven is a Rest from the ferment or action of the Vitalizing or Divine principles.
(58) When speaking of the four elements, Alchemists refer to the four elements of the Universal Ether. This Ether is a quintessence of those very four principles, which they call elements. It is the Quintessence of both worlds.
(59) The Divine Light, the Essence of Gold, is hidden in the self-begotten life. This life of ours, instead of administering to the Divine Life, appropriates it.
(60) The mineral soul or the lowest form of life in us, when first seen by introspection, is as a dark vapour, monstrum, horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum --- it is the Augean Stable the cleansing of which involved Hercules in so much labour.
(61) Saturn or the self-willed life can only be overcome in the process by satiation; he must be given from without plenty "of the honey of the bees", the aurific seed, the Rational Light.
He first of all entraps the Light, and then he longs for more to feed that center which he has entrapped, and just as a seed which has drawn light from the sun longs for more and so grows until it bursts out of the Saturnine husk into a flower, and soon no longer grows for itself but for another generation and becomes transmuted, so the selfish Saturnine life in man when once it has passed into its new life, or rather admitted it, assimilates that life into itself and becomes itself transmuted.
(62) As man was the Quintessence of the whole creation, so woman was the Quintessence of man --- the love-spirit was in her.
The whole process of the Mystery was intended to purify the impure vital atmosphere which surrounds each individual life. The action of mesmerism is a very external way --- an imitation of the Divine Art of the separation of which Paracelsus speaks. It solves the bond between the spirit and its corporeal media for the moment, by the perpendicular or vertical passes. Clairvoyants perceive this atmosphere, and the deformities with which it is full; all the thoughts and desires of life are imaged there. Its density or lightness is the cause of the darkness or brightness which may be seen in men.
(63) There are two Causes and one Mother in the Work; the Mystery of this is shadowed out in the myth of Oedipus. It is shut up in those strange allegories of earlier Greek life. Qui capit, ille sapit.
(64) The Law of Divine Manifestation is expressed in those striking words of Behmen in the Sign. Rerum, Ch. II, p. 68: "An Eternal Will arises in the No Thing to introduce the No Thing into Something, that the Will might feel and find and behold itself". C.f., the Enigma Omia in omnibus in Khunrath. This is the order imaged out in the Hermetic Work, which is in fact an imitation of the Divine.
(65) The first-fruits, tough perfectly real, should not be accepted as permanent, --- the Artist should not stop there; they must be sacrificed for the sake of the promise they contain, would he fulfill the Divine purpose and not his own. There is a good illustration of this in the latter part of that curious little book, The Hermetic Wedding.
(66) True Knowledge is experimental contact of mind with mystery; it is when the mind enters into the Universal consciously; it returns, as it were, into its principle and knows itself in its principle, and there is an efflux of life.
It is not merely an experience such as one might have in receiving a blow; there is a consequence in it. The true Adepts had this knowledge and its fruits. Ordinary men only touch a surface; they donít realize; their life is not multiplied into the absolute fountain of being. Many of the Alchemists only saw theoretically; some of them entering into the medial sphere; the Paradisiacal life inferred the higher and deeper.
(67) The Slat is the voluntary substance, and is bound up in the lowest region, the generative mineral life, and must be translated or drawn up into the medial life (Troy in the old analogy is that citadel where Apollo keeps his cattle, Mercury steals them and afterwards sacrifices them); the Salt thus transplanted becomes Light and grows; and, in growing, this sensibly affects the whole connate or surrounding spirit, ferments it, and moves it to contrition.
(68) True Alchemy (not that which the world has run after without finding) is related to Theosophy on its physical side; it concerns that change in the circulatory system of the blood to which St Martin and Eckhartshausen, among others of the same highly experimental school, allude, showing how the change is wrought by reiterative contritions absorbing the sensuous medium and carrying back the purer conscious ens of light to its first life in God.
(69) The Christian scheme is the bringing of the whole of our life into the Sonship by regeneration; it is an eternal marriage-union between man and God in Christ, as is hinted by St Paul and in the Book of Revelation. No doubt the state of it, when thoroughly achieved, is one of perfect beatitude; the mind then revels as it were in the appreciation of its Maker, its Source. Man is so a child of God, regenerated or born again as an offspring of his own will, given up in passivity to the Divine Will. It is the death to sin with a new birth awakened in us, and until that takes place we know little or nothing of the sinfulness of this life.
(70) It is by emotion that mind is moved into matter. Emotion is a mid-point between the two; conscience strikes upon the self-life, and, when it does so, effectually ferments it and evolves from it a third form of life, a new birth of life.
(71) All qualities (every adjective form) are first in the letter the grounded form, the mathematical flat surface; then in the intellectual, that which understands that; then in the emotional that which feels and as it were has it; then in the expression of the emotional it becomes sensible and so materialized --- for the efflux or first origin of mater is upon the sensible experience; hence, the strange nomenclature of the Hermetist and of Behmen about the Sulphur, the Salt and the Mercury; the water, the air, the fire, etc., relates to principles rather than qualities: in the spirit they become qualities. Thought qualitates spirit, and spiritual experiences bring the qualities produced into manifestation, into esse from posse.
(72) All is held in potentiality in Will.
The Alchemists say that, in the process, there is a point of passivity, where there is no attraction but rather an indifference to both the life and the death; then the Artist must look to his Work, and seek to stir up the Motion; this we learn in the language of the older masters, that when Vulcan appears in the same altar with Minerva the conjunction is ominous. This means that all the desire of life is towards the Wisdom-life, that pure, good, beautiful, passionate life: of itself it needs nothing, but if it is stirred it is taken; what takes it is the self-will.
The whole of this mystery is a translation of the consciousness; for there is a life behind the consciousness. Present consciousness lives in and is drawn out to sense; it may be, it should be, thrown backwards, nay upwards, into its First Source.
(73) The Philosophic Matter is an excruciated ens of Light; alight extracted through anguish from Life. The process goes over and over again, for we could not bear the birth in our own strength; it is a successive giving up of itself to be bettered on the part of Will.
The principle of it is wonderfully beautiful when one gets a glimpse of it, but it is almost too sacred, and impinges so strongly on the Spirit-life that I donít think you can think into such spheres of life without moving them, or being moved by them.
(74) Everything is in Will. All in the beginning is Will; it is the foundation of everything, and is everything; it is the only true substance of body. It subsists first in one will, then in two wills, and exists in the third; it then becomes a self-assertion.
(75) All the false sulphurs (by sulphurs I mean forms) of the mundane life require to be purified, nay, perhaps extirpated, in order that the medium for manifestation of the Divine Light maybe simple and pure. The human spirit has to die to everything that it now lives to, and lastly to its own identity, in order to become a simple receptacle and magnet for the Divine Seed. When it re-arises it is a true manifestation, reflex and image of the Divine; that is the condition of the highest regeneration. All true religion in this life is a preparation of the Will for this final work.
(76) We have no business whatsoever to speak The Name. If it should speak in us it will work its own change in us (c.f., St Martinís Correspondence, letter 30); that is how it spake in our Lordís baptism, when the Voice came, "How I have both glorified my Name and I will glorify it again". It would seem as of our Lord when He prayed "Father, glorify thy Name", and received that answer, needed new strength by the utterance of the Name; hence He introduced that prayer by declaration, "Now is my soul troubled".
(77) "Take that matter which is gold", says Eirenaeus, "and throw it into Mercury, such a Mercury as is bottomless, whose center it can never find but by discovering its own"; in finding the magical earth in yourself, in your own center, you find that which is in the air or the vegetable life, that pure earth which commences the Regeneration, the medial life (nascitur in aere terra magica; in aethere clarificatur). The mineral earth belongs to the lower life and to the center of the globe (See St Martinís Theos. Correspondence, p. 117).
(78) Wisdom is nowhere so well described as in the Book of Wisdom; it is a pure exemplar from the first Light or Life, showing man what he ought to be, and offering to conform him to it. The standard is very high and arduous, nothing but entire self-devotion is of any use even to begin with. Its end is that so-called annihilation bringing back into the Nothing which is before all things. You se it holds such a strong contrast in hand, the perfection of the Law of Light, and the defection of humanity; just that state described by Job: "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth Thee; therefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes". This Divine Wisdom in us has to be born over Andover again; it is an ultimate in the procedure in human restoration.
(79) The life acts through the sensuous and sensible spirit in the blood; it is all to be taken up into, I suppose, the will to cause another and new life to grow out of its death. If you magnetize a person, he is elevated into a purer atmosphere instantly; the natural tendency at once is to a purification; it dissolved the sensuous medium and opens the consciousness to the Divine life; you may corrupt it by introducing forcibly upon the patient a bad will, but it is not, naturally easy to do so.
(80) Out of the ashes of this present sensuous spirit arises the Phoenix.
(81) There is a war in the Work between the self-will and the Universal Will, and all the faculties and desires are engaged on one side or the other; the effort of the Universal Will is to draw them into its service by first destroying them, and then reproducing them in a transmuted form.
(82) The Solar Tincture (Tinctura Solaris) is the Aurific Light.
(83) The physical problem as Kirchberger calls it (Theos. Correspondence, p. 168) is the making visible the invisible spirit. Verbum invisible fiat palpabile et germinabit ut radix; it is a taking of the infinite Light-nature into bound by hypostatic multiplication of its shadow or image.
(84) Lives as long as they are superficies donít create; they are merely principles.
(85) The Philosopherís Stone is a real entity produced by spiritual generation; it is a real ens of light; it is both objective and subjective --- an actuality as well as a theory.
(86) Living in the Second Principle means living the Paradisiacal Life; they all lived in it --- under the Cross; the heart life below the arms which, when extended, give a Cross, represents this, and is this.
(87) The Universal Will being represented as agent dissolves the false forms in the self-will represented as patient. The great Salt Sea (Wisdom, the Universal Will) dissipates the impure sulphurs (desires, phantasms) in the individual will as the strokes of the sunís rays dissipate the darkness of night.
(88) There are three microcosmic centers in man --- the eye of the Divine, animal rational head life; the heart of the celestial medial vegetable life; the lumbar region of the inferior mineral life. The universal matter is obtainable at the focus of either center.
(89) The true manifestation of the law of Light is what is to be sought; the place of its manifestation is in the soul. "There is room for the image also in the circumlucid place. Every way to the unfashioned soul stretch the reins of fire". (See Chaldaic Oracles and Stanleyís Hist. Phil.).
(90) In the Philosophical dissolution of the body, soul and spirit are separate; the body lies without any breath; the other two are united to it as by a thread, and this continues until the refixation takes place.
Through every stage of the process of regeneration, through every stage of progress, the same principles are maintained in operation until the assimilation is perfected and the Divine Will is all. There is no defection the,; the selfhood has nothing to deface, nothing to deform.
Many modern metaphysicians have taken the first ground, their starting point, from the Mystics; I mean Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Kant, and others of kindred mind. They worked hard on the margin of intellectual intuition of truth. Kant never got beyond or behind it, but stood on and ranged about the negative margin. Fichte and Schelling broke through into the ontological, the Absolute ground, seeing but without experiencing. Jacob Bhemen here transcended them. He was in the Experience, but they transcended him in scientific intuition. Okenís case was different; he appears to have had an inspiration into the science of created nature. Behmen saw into the uncreated and felt it; the arising Life was in him consciously.
(91) Kirchberger (Theos. Corresp., p. 236) thought that "the Divine Will makes use of the human voice as an organ for conducting the Light, through the fire". It strikes me that he is right in this; the fire here is our chaotic will in potentiality; it is the basis of our microcosmic recreation.
(92) I am always surprised that these Mystics refer so little to the Psalms; with the exception of Arndt there are none who seem to recognize their surpassing depth of Divine experience.
(93) The Key to the Work, or into another life, the Key of the House of David, is obtained from the desire of the lower life, the generative, the fallen life, opening up into the heart life, or the medial life, or the celestial life, or the vegetable life, by exstasis.
(94) The strength of the attraction of that which is above (the feminine principle, --- Wisdom, --- the heart life), forces, draws, attracts as by a magnet, the self-willed source upwards, so that this latter becomes transmuted into a passive feminine principle. The draw up is sudden and as at an instant; a sudden force of admiration does it; it is love which attracts. Nothing else could move that principle from its self-conscious center into self-oblivion. The seed of this life, the paternal principle, is drawn up. As the feminine spirit is the cause of the Fall, so is it in an advanced stage, you know the cause of the restoration when it advances up there. When the attraction is placed above instead of below a restoration of what was lost takes place and more also; if Paradise regained were merely the old paradise regained, why, then, the Fall would be a thing to be wondered at and deplored; but seeing that it promises in the restoration a much greater good (for the second Adam is greater than the first) may we not regard it as in accordance with the "eternal purpose, purposed in Christ Jesus, our Lord".
(95) St Martin has a curious remark respecting the foundation of the two Testaments. He asserts it to consist "in the true pronunciation of the two great names" (Theos. Corresp., p. 244); this involves more than his words convey to common sense; as showing what really and originally the Old and New Testaments are founded on, namely, on the revealed utterance of the life of God in man. Out of that all minor details follow and belong, and all the particulars that spring out of that Universal, all who have been on that original ground, agree; they corroborate one another; the New Testament is a development and fulfillment of the promise of the Old, and with that fulfillment gives another promise.
(96) All religions are founded on prior revelations, but Polytheism is distinguished from Monotheism by its deviation from the central principle.
(97) As the World is diverse, so is the manifestation of the Spirit diverse; and so powers subordinate to God are evolved. Of this we have a remarkable illustration in those words of comment made by our Lord on the language of David --- "I have said ye are gods, if (says our Lord) ye called them gods unto whom the Word of God came". Where that Word comes there is power in an individual; the danger is the tendency in such gifted beings to set up self-centers. This is the key to the philosophy of the Second Commandment as the practical result of the violation of the First. A graven image means a vocal utterance carved into the understanding spirit which conceives it by the desire of life; the image lives in the heart and the whole individual worships it, and endeavors to conform to it; that sort of graven image may be carried out magically into material forms and objectively worshipped, and this we see becomes more and more weakened the further it departs from its source till it becomes a mere dead representation --- common idolatry; the ancient prophets impugned both, but the danger and sin of the latter is as nothing compared to those of the former, for in it was vitality and efficacy.
(98) The Initiated moved one another on by words of power. The Masons ape this, but have lost the magic Key, which was so carefully prepared by the anonymous author of the Tractatus Aureus (see Museum Hermeticum, edit. 1649, p. 45) to open the door into the Hermetic garden; they want the words, which are only to be found by seeking them in the subjective, the fundamental life, from which they are as far our as the tools they use. The true tools also may be found on the way in; they will be given one after another as they are wanted, i.e., the double Triangle and triple Tau, etc.
(99) These and kindred principles are sacred in their originals; in their ultimates from the center they are not so, they are celestial and outwards; the celestial as well as the ultimate may be used. There is not that sacredness in the outward tools: they are representatives of these that are in the Recess of Light, though they are meant for sacred use, and are so far consecrated on account of purpose.
(100) The outward form of Masonry is too absurd to be perpetuated were it not for a certain secret response of commonsense to the original mystery; so it is with the acceptance of all religious systems: it is based in faith, and faith looks to the invisible.
(101) The perfection of each man is to submit to have his fundamental faith, which is his individual Logos, perfectly elaborated --- i.e., fermented --- so as to transmute the whole being, so that the whole body, soul and spirit may be saved in it. Few have ever perfected this, though there were doubtless degrees of it; the birth of this life prevents the complete work; it is not intended to be completed till the time comes.
The danger of diving into the mystery of life through Alchemical seekings is that it tempts you to break the seals upon the book of life artificially in order to hasten the work, instead of waiting for Godís will and pleasure about it. He will hasten up all at last quickly enough.
The Hermetists themselves always war against over-haste. Norton says, "Haste is the Devilís part". There is a swiftness in the self-willed magnet working powerfully and to destruction if suffered to do so before its time. Ripley warns against this under the similitude of red poppies --- the work gets all burnt up and the artist has to begin over again. Nevertheless in every mistake there is a lesson for future guidance.
(102) The Crown, to use Behmenís and de St Martinís phrase, is the Logos. The whole of the Divine purpose appears to be to bring the self-willed opposition into subjection through manís consent and operation, in order that the original fallen body of the will in Lucifer may become a ground and body to the Divine instead of being apostate. The scheme is wonderful, and appears perfectly marvelous the moment the mind enters into perception of it; that is, the value of man. The body, the really efficient body of the Will, is at present alienated from and in rebellion, as it were experimentally, against its first source.
(103) Engelbrecht lived like Swedenborg, in the visionary sphere, and with no education of the intellect, had, it strikes me, the less gauge for truth. One reads his writings without any sense of value, except such as they might be to his own mind, and to such as himself. Behmenís mind was on quite another ground; it was altogether withdrawn from surfaces, which in him were objective instead of subjective; he looked to them with a light that penetrated and comprehended them.
There is a certain truth in the analogical sphere, but it is only relative. The wise called it the Regio phantastica; all the true Hermetists knew it, and valued it only for the derived light of its essence, not for any light it gave them; it was as a pabalum for them, but only when deprived of all phantasmagoric form. All those little peep-shows are shadows of it, and no doubt children enjoy these things at fairs because their spirits are near this source. A deep intellect will not stay in these spheres, it will be drawn deeper by gravitation to the primary sources of life. Some persons, however, such as perhaps Engelbrecht, misconceive this Evester, as Paracelsus calls it, and having a see things pretty truly if they continue faithful of purpose without much self-desire; it is self-desire that adulterates. Vaughan, the Welshman, very elegantly depicts the play of that ether. In Behmen, as in the higher regenerate men, the body became as the iron in the forge, no longer visible as before, but penetrated through and swallowed up with the Light. On that principle, by the bye, pictures of the Ascension and Transfiguration should be painted; they should paint Light, making the central body of the Light stronger than the outside. Like the eye and its iris, a body can only become invisible through excess of light from within it. It is by shutting up of ours in its center that we become sensibly visible to sense; it only emanates from the focus of the eye, and it is that light thrown in to find its own center and origin which awakens that center at last and causes it to coruscate.
(104) When the archetypal Light is perceived, it burns up all anterior manifestation, images and representations, images and representations, all that is not of itself; it perceives itself alone, for it is objective and subjective both; it is Truth. There is nothing alien in it or possible to it, for it burns up all that is alien, transmuting all that is not combustible into itself.
(105) De St Martin days, "Numerical numbers are merely the bark of things" (p. 298, Corresp.), and outer nature is the bark of them as the tradition of scripture is the bark of the inner law.
My notion of numbers considered theosophically is that they represent, and are the order of the development of, the Divine Law in actual creative operation, and that they are known in their arithmetical forms of addition and subtraction (of which multiplication and division are developments) through their personal representation in theurgic art, by which spirit is added to spirit and multiplied as offspring, producing points, planes, cubes, which being again conjoined, have their confluence in materiality.
The mystic Tetractys of Pythagorus was thus obtained; the source, as he called it, of ever-flowing Nature; such an ens was the basis of the philosophic stone, a metaphysico-chemical birth, emanating according to the creative law, proving itself doubly, triply, by a realization of the first represented will; and this is known in Regeneration, individually proven and proving all.
(106) All members that work here for the natural work, work also for the super-essential. All the organs of the senses are brought to bear against the principle of sense or the sensuous medium in the blood; then the hands are taught to war and the fingers to fight, and all natural secretion is superseded by super-essential hyperphysical exudation and tears; for when the connate spirit is deprived of its understanding spirit, as is imaged in the Iliad after the death of Patroclus, and in the grief of Hercules for the loss of Hylas, life flows away, until by self-realization it rallies from a new center.
(107) Grammar has its foundation in operations of the Spirit, of which will is the substantive or noun, love the qualitative adjective form; their union coming into self-expression is the verb affirmative, I am.
(108) The sensual medium must in the work be brought to its pivot, to its last ens. The residuum from this medium supplies body to the regenerate soul; after that the soul has passed under its Cross. Se St Martin says in allusion to this that "the earth is the crucible for souls as well as bodies", --- see Tableau Naturel, vol 2, p. 230. Also the Smaragdine Tablet --- "The power is integral if it be turned into earth"; this earth becomes the punctum saliens of the Divine Cross which before was its punctum.
(109) Festina lente, Ne quid nimis, are sayings very applicable to the work, and very important in conducting it, and that whether in its higher or lower form. It may seem strange to say so, but too much haste to be good or perfect involves a self-willed action which defeats the end; it is the duty of manís will to follow Godís Will as He, according to His time and measure, opens the way. Be not righteous overmuch, says Solomon, showing that we should not exceed the capacity which is given; if we do, it gives power to the contrary principle to react upon the over-run. Note: --- The action of the self-will on the soul which exaggerates its religious life may be seen in the history of men, Jewish and Christian, in spiritual pride, in contempt of others, in morbid self-anatomy, in want of charity or allowance for others, in the odium theologicum, whether they who show these qualities were called Pharisees or Katharoi or Devotes or Puritans.
(110) The whole work is an action of agent on patient, and the reaction of patient, advancing, on agent. The work is gradual, yet always progressive; each fermented spirit advances upon its origin.
Desire constricts the essence of what it desires and so draws matter about the image of its object.
(111) The lucidity and terseness of even Baconís style if turned from the a posteriori to the a priore ground, would be equally lucid and perspicuous to those who discovered the latter, but would be eminently abstruse and involved and mystical to such as are of a merely perceptivemind cognizant of sensibles, because the natural understanding and language are inadequate to express things belonging to absolute truth; they were never framed to it. The language of the spirit itself only can clearly express and reveal its own life. Nevertheless the more the inner becomes elaborated by thought through the organization, the more intelligible can its light be made by natural language to the natural understanding.
(112) It is true that all inner principles are evolved outwardly, but they are thrown into deviation in the course of evolution by the halting, obstructive movements of the law of individual life.
(113) Kirchberger says for de St Martin (Theos. Corresp., p. 359) that "there is no true government but a Theocracy", This is a great truth, but the social surface to bear a theocratic government must first be coordinate; the worldís surface can only be governed by the center from which it is derived --- that is, its king; and if the divine center moves into a superficial dominion it immediately proceeds to recreate and prepare for the dethronement of the old center by dissolution of the corrupt surface. A perfect law is quite unfit for an imperfect community in immediate form; it works by intermediate degrees of completeness before it attains power to work through to regenerate without destruction of that which, taken up progressively, is valuable (see de St M.ís Reply, p. 364).
(114) People in whom the Mars and Venus property is dominant, especially when they both coexist, are drawn very closely in consciousness to the vortex of life ---the Sol principle; their knowledge is by experience, not perception or intuition, which are the property of Mercury and Jupiter, which can enunciate far more clearly than the mere emotional spheres, but cannot feel as well, or realize without the voluntary dominance of Saturn and Luna. These supply evidence to their respective light and life.
(115) De St Martin found an entrance into the center of the substantial life which every creature is seeking, and in the perfect law of which all who have truly entered and known the center agree. It is in the identity of this revelation in every individual vouchsafed it, that this agreement arises. For this truth is at once a unity and an universal.
(116) Kirchberger was drawn to and worked about the intellectual imagination of the inner life, seeking means of further entrance perhaps, at least sometimes, rather than to become integrated or made anew and converted wholly into the Light he saw. This is the snare of most intellectual seekers; they desire to dive deeply by the one ray of intellect rather than to transfuse its converting light and essence through the darkness of the selfhood on which it shines.
It is true that high revelations may be obtained in that way, intuitions even, but without clothing or realization, unless the spirit of such a seeker returns before it is too late to take up the life which was born with the Light, and which it has left behind in the forgetful enjoyment of its own researches.
(116-A) Intellectual seekers get quickly deeper, but have more to overcome. Seekers, who are in the Divine order of Love, who are passive, are worked at every surface of the Spirit, and this takes time; for doing is more tedious than seeing, but then it is surer, it takes up everything under Godís Will.
(117) Every one can find in himself at moments the true center, if only the thought dives deep enough, and so long as he is there every particular truth will be perceived in its widest acceptation; because without hindrance there is nothing to stop thought there except the law of thought itself. Thus de St Martinís mind expatiated broadly and freely, asserted universal truths in reply to the particular enquiry of his friend; so he answers him and does not: he answers questions and explodes them. And so in the Hermetic process there is an inquisition into life, in which every question is solved, thrown into solution, and a new basis furnished for further enquiry; and here every solution is a convertive process and progress in entity and hypostatic relation. When I ask you a question or you me, the doing so does not change, though it affects, our life; but there it does both, because the solution enters into the spirit of the enquirer: it is intimate, alchemical; it is light dissolving darkness until there is no more darkness or shadow of a doubt.
You must understand that the intellect is the enquirer and, as individual, is skeptical. The Universal Reason condescends to answer it when not self-seeking and too proud to know. To the true seeker after truth in humility, not in pride, it responds.
Kant saw that, Hegel saw it, Fichte knew it, Schelling saw it, Boehme knew it and proved it by his experienced in-seeing whereby he became it.
(118) It requires Light to throw Light upon Light; darkness looking in and endeavoring only darkens. It is the blind leading the blind, or worse than that; it is a blind man dragging about his dog instead of his dog dragging him. Hence by reading St Paulís Epistles in the atmosphere of the higher Mystics, more knowledge of his meaning, more insight into his depths, is given than can be drawn from any professed commentators. The Theosophic light opens him at a much wider plane of thought than the Theological.
(119) In that dream your mind was carried back into its ether; the ethereal consciousness brought into relation with the Universal Ether. That ether is the omnia in omnibus of the Hermetic Riddle. What we have is a scrap of that ether shut in at our birth-conception. All qualities are in it and color it.
(120) The first vegetative life is green, it arises with hope; it is hope, the first aspiration to something better, to progress and improvement; it is a beautiful principle, the sensation of it on such as are permitted in consciousness to enter into it is blessed. The purple color is its ripened Life; it is the benedicta viriditas of the masters (Song of Sol., ch. 2)
(121) "Man is the servant and interpreter of Nature", says Bacon, and truly, so long as he goes outwardly and away from himself and from God to find knowledge; but when he returns within according to the Divine Ordinance and law of Reason, but that he has a capacity in his own principle of being and life, when allied to God, to become, next Him, her revealer and master.
(122) The only objection that can be urged rationally to the a priori investigation of nature is the lapse of the human soul, the fall away of it into selfhood, which has defaced the image, so that it no longer reflects the truth nor perceives it until it has been regenerated; and so far the objection is valid, but not beyond. The a priori method is the true one for the discovery of the first truths; the difficulty of the method does not invalidate its superiority; when found it proceeds to prove itself a posteriori by efficient procedure, as it were by what is commonly called miracle; and this, the inductive philosophy or method never can arrive at, since it goes further and further out, and finds its strength in remoteness from the causal source. The subjective can prove itself, has proved itself, to the objective; the objective never can prove itself by originating any effects.
(123) The whole of the self-included vaporous vehicle of the soul must be evaporated before any truth is evolved. The vaporous vehicle is the material principle in the conception, it obscures the pure paternal light of life --- the generative light, in order to bring it out into sense.
The birth into this life is a continuous image o the Fall; the Fall was not at first sensible, but spiritual; the principle of the Fall is a long way back behind its effects.
(124) The spirit of nature is all imagination, ideality, fancy. She wraps herself about with what you call aromal essences, aromal emanations, in order to realize her imaginings. Nature is a personality whenever it is included in particulars --- and also when regarded universally it is the same in the being of the orb soul. She is sometimes more at one time than at another in a phantastic state, when there is more power given her from the Central Source to work with, as in earthquakes and convulsions. Then she makes beautiful scenery, and throws about her shaping essence gracefully to be clothed at those junctures with the material that is in process of reformation. She enjoys reconstructing in the world, just as she does in us when the constructing organ is called into play. The embellishing spirit goes with the constructive, though not always in the same degree; that is highest and strongest when she has most supply of life. Of course, there is a sense of beauty in Nature or else the world would be ugly.
(125) Children have the growth spirit in them (the vegetable spirit which is more phantastic than the animal) and therefore they imagine more freely and with less resistance from consciousness of the actual. They are not so entirely included in the circle of life and circulation. When that is completed it shuts them more in, and growth upward stops; the intercourse is then not so free with the spirit of Nature; it is imprisoned in the self-consciousness, and self becomes the magnet.
(126) Behmen surpassed the Neo-Platonists in his revelations of the Life Center; of this they delivered down the principles scientifically in accordance with the natural reason and scholar-like knowledge of all contemporary literature, and of Eastern philosophy and tradition; besides which they underwent an Initiation perfected through long ages of experience; so that their theosophy bears the same relation to Behmenís as the astronomy of Ptolemy could to that of Newton. It was not their practice to declare the inner experience of the Mystae and Teleioi; they chiefly confined themselves to the psychological investigation ad experiments.
(127) Weight is the analogue of Will.
(128) There are two magnets in man, i.e., two wills contending for man; the one to the other self center. Therefore these two contend for the soul.
(129) When the medial life draws the hidden central light, there is a tremendous central action now, i.e., in this life, we are upside down. The Sulphur, the pure light of life, is bound down in the inferior mineral region of life, and has to be drawn forth and transplanted into the medial region before it can grow and become manifest. It is brought up like a graft, verbum invisible fiat palpable et germinabit ut radix. You see, the central hidden light (thereís the mystery) is hidden in the voluntary contrariation which is a Saturn (i.e., Will) has the Key to the prison where Sulphur lies bound; for that which Will has bound, Will only can unbind.
(130) Supposing I have a will that wishes to loosen your will, or rather the will that binds your life individually. I throw its purpose into your mind, and so ferment the whole including spirit of your life that it, the former, opens, corrupts, dissolves, and so lets loose the light of which the latter was begot, i.e., the light which comes into every soul born into the world. When this light is let loose, it shines forth with a sudden coruscation feeding on the surrounding ether which constitutes the atmosphere of the life, as is described in the midnight sun seen by Apuleius when he was initiated by the Goddess Isis. (You are always taken down there by spiritual guides; it is never human initiation, that).
(131) When light meets light there is true self-perception, and man begins to know and to hate and to rectify himself and desire rectification.
(132) To utter from spirit-suggestions is a fearful thing; spirits get footing in the life through utterance; every time strengthening it, it makes place for them, as it were, by vacuity of self-will, and, there being no substitution from the Divine, they take possession of the soul and plague it subsequently into submission.
(133) By music the human spirit is passed back into its original sources; the sound makes a concave in the recipient life; it is formative in the ether; matter arranges itself geometrically in accordance with the forms educed.
(134) The Vulcan of the Alchemists is Motion. Why Vulcan is represented as lame in the Myths is because motion or action in this life is halting; it runs after something which it never catches; it runs in a line, keeping on without returning, circularly into its own principle; in this life it is not meant to do so, for nothing here contains its own principle in itself. Vulcan is not the fire, the ignis Philosophorum, but the stirrer up of the fire.
(135) The first step in this Philosophy is to create motion in the spirit. The Vulcan or Faber is the instrument of the motive agent --- the mind.
(136) The spirit freed works by itself, by its own law, ignis et Azoth tibi sufficient; the wonder must be to see it working its miracle.
(137) We are all compacted in a certain petrification, i.e., life in each is as a stone in this first being; therefore they say "take that stone", meaning take life as it is and ferment it, that is by another life, which will dissolve and kill it as well as itself; both will be reproduced in a third.
(138) There is this difference between fermentation and ordinary generation, that the one is exalted in its result, the other keeps level and equal with its offspring: spiritual generation is according to the fermentative law; by fermentation of its own light it keeps on rising, until it reaches the perfection of its law. It is an ascending, not a descending, process.
(139) The Divine Art evolves various states of life and develops various possibilities, offering many objects and allurements to the will. And as whatever the will enters into or draws to, becomes realized, therefore the will should aim singly at the highest good lest it create for itself idols. The creating itself into a being is the evil. This is what Lucifer did; he did not know before he tried the experiment that the stirring up of the central fire in his will would inflame the vehicle of his life, and burn up the ether which was Heaven.
(140) "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you", said our Lord. This, in its application to the Hermetic Art, and when the principle governs the seeker, is really the shortest as well as the truest road to the attainment of all that is promised or can be looked for. Everything is in the perfected Corner Stone, when the whole force of life regenerate is brought up into the head-consciousness, what they call in the north. The life is dislocated now; what ought to be up is down; it wastes itself. The Efficient must be regained. That is, it is to be related to mind and not to the generative life.
(141) If you seek a finite end first, i.e., before you seek the Universal --- the Kingdom of God --- which you are ordered to do, you will have to give up the former at every stage, if a right seeker; and unless you are wicked, and steal the first fruits of the spiritís offering, all sorts of gifts are offered; you may stop in any of them; if you do, you commit idolatry. It is against Godís ordinance; that the real truth as expressed in the 1st and 2nd Commandments especially; though it is a breach of all, in the higher spiritualistic sense.
(142) What it is that Nature strives to gain through man, because creation has lapsed into it? I suppose it is an escape from vacuity into entity, from the seeming and shadow into reality. There is no human misery which can compare to that.
(143) Self-knowledge is the first contact of consciousness in the ground of life.
(144) The First Matter is not to be found on earth, as the philosophers say; you must go back into the original of life from which it springs; go back in consciousness. It is immediately antecedent to the first consciousness. How beautifully Plotinus describes that generation of the First Matter as a recessure of reason behind itself into the indefinite intermediate between reason and the Absolute. This is merely the metaphysic of it. It is never realized so, it is merely intelligible so to the highest reason, for this First Matter thus presents itself as the extreme of bound and definiteness reverting to non-being.
(145) The Hermetic Process is a regular inquisition into life. There is motion present with interrogation. Generally speaking the descriptions of the Matter as it appears to the eye of mind regardant of its own first sense, the whole process, all the descriptions, relate to the one universal entity of life, the omnia in omnibus before manifestation and individuality, the thing of which you may assert everything; Proteus.
(146) There is a spirit-man within the natural man and his work is to move the Ether.
(147) When the metal bond is broken, the Elias spirit is born and his work is to prepare for something higher. This is the analogue of the Work revealed in Holy Scripture, just as the Stone is the analogue of the Chief Corner Stone.
(148) As the Divine Art works in and with the Universal Spirit, the Proteus mentioned above is mechanical as well as alchemical and uses instruments as well as vessels; as the heart and brain are its vessels, so are the hand and eye its instruments and vessels also, the eye particularly. Every member is in short working for the end proposed to fulfill the law of the head, the direction, I mean, given by the head; without taking all the powers and appliances you narrow the view of this art, which comprehends everything wanted here on earth analogically.
(149) The reason why there are so many seeming contradictions in the descriptions given of the First matte in its manifestations, is that the things said of it are transmutable adjective forms, which may become one another, and what they are at one moment they change from at another. Virgil alluded to this in the advice to Aristaeus as to the mode in which he should arrest and bind Proteus (c.f., Vaughanís Aula Lucis, pp. 15-16).
(150) When the consciousness is opened into rapport with the spiritual spheres, it comes into relationship with multiplicity of being and beings of good or evil character according to the state in which the vital spirit is within the blood. If a person in the inner life came suddenly into this outer life, and his senses were awakened into perception of the vastness and variety of things, he would be astonished at what he saw; just so would be the case with one coming into relation with the manifold world within.
(151) As is nature to God, so is the outward Bible in my opinion to the inner: the letter to the spirit, the historical to the ontological. When St Paul says "the letter killeth", he means that the living letter of the law is too powerful a test for manís spirit. The Law of Eternal Justice cannot be met by the Mediatorial Sacrifice from which the new spirit arise.
I donít like to say much here; it may seem to me preposterous rather. I half see it. It is talking too theoretically of the Christian Love which reconciles, of the Humility which was deeper than the pride which caused the Fall. We cannot imagine of the depths of that suffering, that utter self-abandonment.
(152) The vision and experience of the inner life is the same to all who enter into it, after they have passed the phantasmagoric region and so far unriddled the sphinx of this world as to enter into its solution, i.e., in its dissolved essence which is the mercury of the Philosophers, Proteus. Thus Aristaeus went to Proteus to learn how he could get on after he had lost all his bees, all the faculties of his soul, with the generative life.
(153) Nature reduced to the extremity of her last unit or monad turns upon her axis and rallies up into a new life, and displays all the powers of her center as light does in ether. All colors, all forms, all possibilities of being, are then brought before the seer.
(154) If there were no art in the Divine world there would be none in this. The mystery is an art revealed to regenerating men, to advance them on to perfection; it is revealed, but by whom, whence, where?
(155) You can ít get the medial center, the anima media, either of man or nature without its law, and that law is an impulse towards rectification and regeneration. As the seed of a natural object to its nature, so is the seed of spirit to spirit. This is alluded to by St Paul when he says, "It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption".
(156) Every manifestation contains the promise of another superior to it, the germ or seed, as it were:
Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas
Atque metus omnes et inexorabile fatum
Subjecit pedibus, etc.
These words are a grand declaration of a deep Hermetic truth, for when the individual light of life is lodged in its causal center, the whole of the evil nature adhering is precipitated to the extremities, destroying the downward gravitating attraction or rather overcoming it, and leaving all the threefold life freedom of ascent. This is a deep subject; I can hardly grapple it, it requires working out. That which relates us to the lower principle is cast out with the consciousness of the self-evolved power, for: ---
(157) In the Regeneration there is a wonderful birth of freedom to act every and realize every volition; this, so far as regards self-will, is given up under the Christ-life in its higher development and subjected to the Fatherís Will.
(158) What does the Reason seek? Causes, and, through secondary, the higher Cause, the punctum saliens of life, and there it finds its roots consciously. The Light which springs up in that alliance is the Divine aurific seed and true form of gold. That was the Golden Bough which Aeneas carried, and which took him safely through Tartarus.
(159) In the great combat of Life internal on the plain of truth, the will on either side, that of the universal and the self center, sends forth all its troops, that I, the various powers, as they are called upon successively; the rational light keeping back to the last, and never aroused into action until deprived of its understanding essence which is taken captive by the rational light on the other side; not being able to subsist without this, the rational intellect goes forth to avenge it and die. This is predestinated from the first; the process, however, goes on over and over again; it is not concluded in this world.
This war is the war between two principles of the self-will and the Divine Will. We are born into the self-will, and by the Divine mercy shut up in nature in order that we may not feel the bitterness springing from the course of self-life, what Behmen calls the bitter anguish of the driving wheel of existence. All the whole scheme of Christianity is to redeem us out of that misery by the interposition of Godís grace between us and it.
(160) Alchemy goes beyond nature; it takes her up and advances her beyond her created it and in this world.
Art, then, what nature left in hand doth take,
And out of one a twofold work doth make.
(161) I am perfectly sure that the Hermetic is the only true key to the old myths, and to Homerís Iliad and Odyssey, because the solution which it gives is entirely adequate to the subject. Proclus develops the ontological basis of the Iliad; Virgil wrote on the same initiated ground; the Georgicís are an allegory all through, an analogical instruction in celestial and spiritual agriculture. I regard the whole of the Aeneid as illustrative of the same truths in another form, --- the 6 th Book markedly so.
(162) When the Divine presence arises in the human life, all that is alien and contrary is dispelled "as wax before the fire", as David says in the 68 th Psalm, and there is great rejoicing and a setting free of the life which has been so long imprisoned, and at the further of the Divine Power all the circumferential etherical sphere is shaken up and there is an abundant influx of the Holy Spirit; and underneath all this there is revealed that wonderful White Light which Van Helmont speaks of, though in a very superficial way, as the Quellem, and which the Kabalists celebrate as belonging to the Ancient of Days, i.e., the primeval Light. This action is a merging of the whole of the variety of Life into its first unity.
(163) In the process of the Hermetic regeneration there is a drawing of power and life up through the feet which may be called breathing, pumping up of the rich essences of the spirit; the essential fold which is of the substance of light; that, drawn up in this manner, becomes through our organization into operation and visibility if permitted, or unless returned for a higher purpose to its fountain. "The ransom of a manís life are his riches"; man at that moment craving the riches of the whole world set before him, gives them up. This is imaged even in our ordinary life in the world, where we find men giving up the chance for acquiring wealth for science and her rewards, for poetry, for duty and what not. How much more does this hold good for the true seeker when he is brought to the fountain head of all riches and wisdom essential.
(164) Those old Grecian fables are wonderful, most acute, refined, witty; when understood they are most relishing. Take for instance the fable of Midas turning everything into gold and thereby starving himself. He is thus a representation of one whose will, for want of returning the aurific substance of life into its source and living there, becomes fossilized and starved in the mere possession of that life, holding it as he did the selfhood.
(165) The process is a passage of life through various spheres of being, in any of which the will may rest, but every one of which presents a law of progress at its development which should be pursued to the end --- the Divine manifestation --- and every stoppage of the will short of this is in its way punished. There is no standing still in those spheres of perpetual motion. Upwards or downwards the will must go.
(166) It is quite true tat Nature, as the Bishop of Oxford (Wilberforce) says, is as much the voice of God as Revelation is; but Nature, I think, no longer presents a true image or echo of that voice since the fall off from the Divine Law. Revelation is given to rectify and draw back man and all Nature through man to the original Truth. The present form of Nature is a fall off from the true representation, it gives a distorting shadow of the true. Nevertheless this has no reference to the possibility of facts of science contradicting the Bible. It does not alleviate that difficulty; where the Bible makes reference to natural facts the question stands on its own ground.
(167) The Matter is seen with the inner eye, either of the agent in the patient, or the patient in the agent, for in the working of the Material they alternate.
Synesius refers to that when he says in his Isis and Osiris,; "You also have been initiated into those mysteries where there are two pairs of eyes; those which are beneath are closed, when those which are above are opened", and vice versa.
(168) The handling of the Matter is this, that when the Matter flows forth exteriorly from the new-born consciousness, it passes out into the hand and flows through the fingers, and is able to ferment another life and bring it into the same consciousness; this in its turn rises higher, and is able to react, raising again that other which raised it.
(169) The entrance of the essential light of the reason into the chaos of te Vital Spirit (which always is in chaos, i.e., always coming to be, never is, and whilst in this life wants the rebirth), that entrance constriucts the chaos at first into vivid images, but persisting in its direct look or intellectual perscrutination of the life, dissolves and disperses the images of which the chaos is full.
Strictamqu Aeneas aciem venientibus offert
Et ni docta comes:, etc. (Aeneid VI, 291, etc.)
Then thelight goes on seeking the Paternal Life, the fundamental life; and finding it through the maternal instinct (the doves of Venus) is conjoined, and so far as it is conjoined is strengthened for further warfare.
(170) Without the Golden Bough Aeneas could not proceed over or pass by Tartarus to see his Father. Tartarus is the death of this life. By propitiation, through the offering of the Golden Bough, he is passed safely through to the Elysian regions, where the Paternal ens resides in liberty.
(171) The Rational Light is the strongest of all lights, and overcomes every other. All life moves orderly round the focus of that Alight when that Light is found or realized. This constitutes the re-integration of being, the manifestation of the **** in man.
(172) We are all of us drawn to our Ideal as to a star; to us the Ideal is a Light, a real objective attraction or magnet.
(173) What you find all depends on what you look with; ontologically you find what you seek, that is, the ontological quality of the faculty you seek with determines what you find; if you seek with a selfish, covetous, desiring spirit you find its object in the lower spiritual atmosphere, the first emanation from this life. We on earth live in the first arising from nature. Thoughts, images, passions, desires, words, loves, hates, all rise up through this first Ether Natural and abide on a sphere of their own above it. The higher faculties, the moral nature, with their results, are related to the pure Ether, which overlies the passion sphere. Above that is the Divine Light region which is the proper habituation of the high Reason when informed by the Love, and after it has been purified by passing through the humiliation.
(174) The Protean life is very difficult of discovery; the last subterfuge of Proteus according to Homer in the Odyssey is transformation into a tree. This tree appears to be identical with that bearing the Golden Bough which Aeneas was ordered to find and take as his talisman to pass through the Infernal Regions to Elysium, where the Paternal Spirit lives. Prior to the ultimate transformation, however, it takes various other shapes. As the enquiring spirit enters into the ether life, the light that it seeks by compresses the ether and drives it about and causes it to take all sorts of fantastic forms: the imaginative spirit is the maker of these images. "No one", says Vaughan, "enters into the Magian School but he wanders awhile in the region of Chimaeras". These Chimaeras have all to be destroyed in order to reach the simple Hypostasis or radix of the reason that seeks; the aurai simplicis ignem.
(175) True Science is the contact identical of the thing knowing with the thing known, subject with object. Of course, I mean ontologically; for Truth is, as it were, Light in its own ether, the Divine Wisdom self-conspicuous.
(176) What a wonderful analysis of Time Proclus works out in his Commentary on the Timaeus; he there takes it to be a created or secondary essential participation of the eternal Unit, or, better, a participation of the Paradigm by the image; not a mere relation as you make it, or a condition of thought as modern metaphysicians have it.
(177) The solution of the sensuous spirit or vehicle is effected by the Perpendicular Magnetism, the fixation by the Horizontal; altitude and latitude. By the former the soul is set free --- it translates the consciousness into another medium. By it, the consciousness is brought into relation to another world and new experiences. Quis deus, says Virgil in introducing the myth of Aristaeus, a myth which bears altogether on the Vital transmutation in an advanced stage, Quis deus hac musae quis nobis extudet artem? Unde nova ingressus hominum eperientia caepit? (Georgics IV, 315, etc.)
(178) It is an awful thing that when the Divine Life is being elicited in a man, the sins of this world press heavily upon him, through his sympathy with it, and his perception of the evil; it is as if the individual soul was responsible for all.
(179) How nothing the individual is in comparison with the universal! We know noting of Causality --- i.e., we have no experience of the Efficient Power. When the individual mind comes in contact with power universal, it then can understand the meaning of the words, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom, for that experience is the initial of the regenerate life; that which ferments the sensorium of this life, and lives upon its decrease ultimately: its decease I say, for it comes up again ultimately.
(180) Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronteís book, wants writing over again, or rather rewriting twice. It is a Saturnine mass of power in mere potentiality; a dark cloud; chaos before Light strikes through it. It wants the Jupiter element to clear it. Charlotte ought to have taken it in hand for her sister, for Emily was not capable of clearing it. Charlotte Bronte was Jupiter and Lune; Emily Bronte was Saturn; Anne Bronte was Venus and Lune.
(181) The One Thing; it is our psychical essence; our nervous system. Solution refers to the separation of the sensuous medium itself. You cut off the sensuous life and get into the intuitional; and when again you dissolve the intuitional, you get into the intuitional (divine).
Help Manual: The hand outward is an image of the invisible hand, its clothing; which, according to its attainment, (i.e., the perfection of its own nature, works effects. The hands of the Ether are its transverse poles, which are formed by the divine differentiation everywhere, and are in man a natural fire ---i.e., the fire of the Ether in us, or of our life organism.
The Philosophical matter is the entelechy of body bearing the spirit, the antecedent cause, right up through. The human soul is more than a mere resultant of body; it is its ultimate perfection, for it is a mesothesis between two spheres.
The Ether is the universal extended Matter; the Divine posit everywhere; life.
The Metals of the philosophers are the ethereal metals; the Etherís progressive stages; its processes; the arising of the Ether from and through its lower to its higher forms and qualities.
The adept regards nature inwardly and as a whole; he feels all in himself.
The soulís angelic essence is a metallic humidity. The soul in its perfection is the Christian philosopherís stone. The soul in its metalline perfection is the philosopherís stone.
Alchemy can be fully understood only by those who have entered on and are working the philosophic process; by those who, as Plato well says, are conversant with the soul in her philosophy --- i.e., the recreative, or rather separative, process.
All you get first of all is a pure matter which is passive, having no power of perfecting itself; it is the attractive power. But you must set free the masculine ferment, the sulphur or divine ferment (which is doubly hidden and beyond in this life of ours) to effect the perfection of the matter.
Our life is threefold. The Salt, the will, opens it secondfold. Each life must have its key and representative; the first has its status and being in sense. Dissolve the sensuous medium and you have the second or medial life. Dissolve the medial and you reach to the divine, which rectified the whole individual. Visitabis interiore terrae, etc.
Alchemy is philosophy; it is the philosophy, the seeking of The Sophia in the mind.
For production of effect there must be a return of the sulphur (this third, this obscure, this radical life) on its matrix. Each principle of the life --- active, passive, and resultant --- must be produced or evolved separately, and represented personally produces a universal work.