Oct 162017
 

Although the alchemists were more or less aware that their insights and truths were of divine origin, they knew they were not sacred revelations but were vouchsafed by individual inspiration or by the lumen naturae, sapientia Dei hidden in nature. The autonomy of their insights showed itself in the emancipation of science from the domination of faith. Human intolerance and shortsightedness are to blame for the open conflict that ultimately broke out between faith and knowledge. Conflict or comparison between incommensurables is impossible. The only possible attitude is one of mutual toleration, for neither can deprive the other of its validity. Existing religious beliefs have, besides their supernatural foundation, a basis in psychological facts whose existence is as valid as those of the empirical sciences. If this is not understood on one side or the other it makes no difference to the facts, for these exist whether man understands them or not, and whoever does not have the facts on his side will sooner or later have to pay the price.

With this I would like to conclude my remarks on sulphur. This arcane substance has provided occasion for some general reflections, which are not altogether fortuitous in that sulphur represents the active substance of the sun or, in psychological language, the motive factor in consciousness: on the one hand the will, which can best be regarded as a dynamism subordinated to consciousness, and on the other hand compulsion, an involuntary motivation or impulse ranging from mere interest to possession proper. The unconscious dynamism would correspond to sulphur, for compulsion is the great mystery of human life. It is the thwarting of our conscious will and of our reason by an inflammable element within us, appearing now as a consuming fire and now as life-giving warmth.

Carl Jung, Personification of the Opposites (Sulphur), Mysterium Conjunctionis

Mar 192017
 

“The Cosmic unity, until now obscure, was opened, and in the heights appeared the heavens with all their mysteries. The earth, hitherto unstable, grew more solid beneath the brightness of the sun, and stood forth adorned with enfolding riches. All things are beautiful in the eyes of the Divine, even that which to mortals appears uncomely, because all is made according to the divine laws. And the Divine rejoiced in beholding His works filled with movement; and with outstretched hands grasping the treasures of nature. “Take these,” He said, “O sacred earth, take these, O venerable one, who art to be the mother of  all things, and henceforth let nothing be lacking to thee!”

With these words, opening His divine hands, He poured His treasures into the universal font. But yet they were unknown, for the souls newly embodied and unable to support their opprobrium, sought to enter into rivalry with the celestial Gods, and, proud of their lofty origin, boasting an equal creation with these, revolted. Thus men became their instruments, opposed to one another, and fomenting civil wars. And thus, force oppressing weakness, the strong burnt and massacred the feeble, and quick and dead were thrust forth from the sacred places.
Then the elements resolved to complain before the Lord of the savage condition of mankind. For the evil being already very grievous, the elements hastened to the Divine the Creator, and pleaded in this wise–the fire being suffered to speak first.
Kore Kosmou

 

Dec 022014
 

Portae_LucisLet us turn now to the idea of tsimtsum – the ‘withdrawal of God’ in the Lurianic school of the Cabbala. The doctrine of tsimtsum reveals one of the ‘three mysteries’ in the Cabbala: sod hajichud, the mystery of union; sod hatsimtsum, the mystery of concentration or divine withdrawal; sod hagilgul, the mystery of reincarnation or the ‘revolution of souls’. The two other ‘mysteries’ – the mystery of union and that of the revolution of souls – will be treated later, in other letters. Concerning the ‘mystery of the divine withdrawal (or concentration)’ which interests us here, it is a question of the thesis that the existence of the universe is rendered possible by the act of contraction of God within himself. God made a ‘place’ for the world in abandoning a region interior to himself.

The first act of En-Soph, the Infinite Being, is therefore not a step outside but a step inside, a movemetn of recoil, of falling back upon oneself, of withdrawing into oneself. Instead of emanation we have the opposite, contraction…The first act of all is not an act of revelation but an act of limitation. Only in the second act does God send out a ray of His light and begin His revelation, or rather His unfolding as God the Creator, in the primordial space of His own creation. More than that, every new act of emanation and manifestation is preceded by one of concentration and retraction. (Gershom G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism).

In other words, in order to create the world ex nihilo, God had first to bring the void itself into existence. He had to withdraw within in order to create a mystical space, a space without his presence – the void. And it is in thinking this thought that we assist at the birth of freedom.

Freedom is not determined by God; it is part of the nothing out of which God created the world….The void – the mystical space from which God withdrew himself through his act of tsimtsum – is the place of origin of freedom, ie, the place of origin of an ‘existence’ which is absolute potentiality, not in any way determined. And all of the beings of the ten created hierarchies are the children of God and freedom born of divine plenitude and the void. They carry within themselves a ‘drop’ of the void and a ‘spark’ of God. Their existence, their freedom, is the void within them. Their essence, their spark of love, is the divine ‘blood’ within them. They are immortal, because the void is indestructible. Further, these two indestructible elements – the meonic element (ov – void) and the pleromic element (plenitude) – are indissolubly bound to one another. (Nichoas Berdyaev, The Destiny of Man).

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter IV, The Emperor

Jan 262014
 

kore kosmou“….I will skillfully devise an instrument, mysterious, possessed of power of sight that cannot err, and cannot be escaped, whereto all things on earth shall of necessity be subject, from birth to final dissolution,–an instrument which binds together all that’s done. This instrument shall rule all other things on earth as well–as man.”

When this was done, and when the souls had entered in the bodies, and–Hermes–had himself been praised for what was done, again the Monarch did convoke the gods in session…

“Let each of us bring forth according to his power. Let us by our own energy wipe out this inert state of things; let chaos seem to be a myth incredible to future days. Set hand to mighty work; and I myself will first begin.”

He spake; straightway in cosmic order there began the differentiation of the up-to-then black unity of things.  And heaven shone forth above tricked out with all his mysteries; earth, stilla-tremble, as the sun shone forth grew harder, and appeared with all the fair adornment that bedeck her round on every side. …

“Take–these–, O holy Earth, take those, all honoured one, who are to be the mother of all things, and henceforth lack thou naught!”

*

The evil now being very great, the elements approached to God who made them, and formulated their complaint in some such words as these: It was moreover fire who first received authority to speak….”Let them be taught to render thanks for benefits received, that I, the fire, may joyfully do service in the sacrificial rites, that they may from the altar send sweet-smelling vapours forth….”

And the air too said: “I also, Master, I am made turbid by the vapours which the bodies of the dead exhale, and I am pestilential, and, no longer filled with health, I gaze down on things I ought not to behold….”

Next water, O my son of mighty soul, received authority to speak, and spake and said: “O Father, O wonderful creator of all things, daimon self-born, and Nature’s maker, who through Thee doth conceive all things, now at this last, command the rivers’ streams for ever to be pure….”

After came earth in bitter grief, and taking up the tale, O son of high renown, thus she began to speak: “The godless rout of men doth dance upon my bosom. I hold in my embrace as well as the nature of all things; for I, as Thou didst give command, not only bear them all, but I receive them also when they’re killed….Bestow on earth, if not Thyself, for I could not contain Thee, yet some holy emanation of Thyself. Make Thou the earth more honoured than the rest of elements; for it is right that she should boast of gifts from Thee, in that she giveth all.”

Kore Kosmou

Jan 132014
 

4402The part of them worthy of the name immortal, which is called divine and is the guiding principle of those who are willing to follow justice and you-of that divine part I will myself sow the seed, and having made a beginning, I will hand the work over to you. And do ye then interweave the mortal with the immortal, and make and beget living creatures, and give them food, and make them to grow, and receive them again in death.”

Thus he spake, and once more into the cup in which he had previously mingled the soul of the universe he poured the remains of the elements, and mingled them in much the same manner; they were not, however, pure as before, but diluted to the second and third degree. And having made it he divided the whole mixture into souls equal in number to the stars, and assigned each soul to a star; and having there placed them as in a chariot, he showed them the nature of the universe, and declared to them the laws of destiny.

Plato, Timaeus

Dec 122013
 

SunSymbolWisdom is the that streams out from the interior of a being in many directions. It is what dwells, actively present, in the interior of the being itself, comprehending its surroundings not in a one-sided way, but many-sidedly. If we wish to represent this schematically, we draw a point – for wisdom is contained within the human being. Out of the point, wisdom issues forth in many-sided forms. Thus we have the sign of the Sun. This is the expression of wisdom – which is inner and, at all the same time, comprises everything. It radiates forth equally in all directions – it is universal. The life force is in fact this striving of the inner being outward towards universality.

And the struggle that wisdom, as well as life, must endure in existence consists precisely in the fact that a power must be developed out of wisdom that can put up a resistance to one-sidedness, to impact from without, from right and left. For wisdom is the condition of a being that is capable of relying upon itself, of not needing any point of support, whether from right or from left, of relying upon nothing save its own inner strength of being, and of not being drawn into one-sidedness.

This is the power that lives in the principle of wisdom. It was shown in the Gospels in deeply moving portrayal when Christ Jesus was scourged by his fellow human beings. The ability to be centred in oneself – to stand, out of the power of one’s own inner being, in spite of all assaults from without – this is the power that is developed through scourging. What constituted the essential heart of the old Sun, what caused the planet to shine forth, was the same power that manifests and endures in the scourging. The planet of the scourging was the old Sun.

And if we now move on to the old Moon, we find the astral element being poured out into existence through the Spirits of Movement. At the same time, this astral element was taken hold of by Lucifer, and a battle then took place in the the heavens. Human Karma began on the Earth, but cosmic karma began on the old Moon. We can also put it this way: If the human fall into sin took place on Earth, then the cosmic fall into sin took place on the old Moon. And as a guardian was placed on Earth to guard the threshold, so also – when the spirits fell – a guardian was placed on the old Moon, one who took karma onto himself. This guardian was the realiser of spiritual karma.

By remaining true to themselves, spirits received the dignity of the guardian of the divine intentions. The dignity of the guardian is what is expressed by the crown of thorns. The crown of thorns symbolises a dignity that indeed corresponds to a state of being crowned, but at the same time it wounds the one who is crowned. For the power that the guardian, the representative of karmic necessity, must unfold from within is the power of inexorableness. It is the principle of taking a oral stand so that the Truth and the Law will be fulfilled. Pity must be overcome by the being who assumes this guardian’s mission.

alchemyAnd so the spiritual beings who had to represent the karma of the worlds needed, on the one hand, to look upon the Luciferic being with the greatest pity, and on the other hand they had to repeatedly overcome this pity in order to stand unshakably on the cosmic threshold. The power that reveals itself in being crowned with thorns is that of being obliged to judge while experiencing an inward pity that must, however, be constantly controlled and overcome. Thus this crown pricks the wearer himself. And that is what happened in the cosmos during the time of the old Moon that during this time the crown of thorns came into being in the Cosmos.

If we now pass on further to the development of the Earth, we find earthly existence represented by the cross. The carrying of the cross is the fundamental note, the fundamental motif, of earthly existence, and every being connected with the Earth has to experience it in some form or other. During the development of the Earth, humanity must, on the whole, reach the stage of carrying the cross; again and again individuals will have to take the cross upon themselves and learn to bear it through the whole cycle the whole circle, of their experiences. The symbol of the Earth itself expresses bringing to fulfillment of the carrying of the cross.

Valentin Tomberg, Indian Yoga in Relation to the Christian-Rosicrucian Path

 

May 092011
 

We have spoken here of the Buddha-Avatar to come, because he will be the guide in the transformation of potential schizophrenic madness into the wisdom of the harmony of the two worlds and of their experience. He will be the example and living model of realisation of the Arcanum which occupies us.

For this reason he is represented as a Buddha in canonical Buddhist art not in a meditation posture with crossed legs, but rather seated as a European – this latter posture symbolises the synthesis of the principle of prayer and that of meditation.

And for this reason also, he is imagined in Indian ‘mythology’ (as an Avatar) as a giant with the head of a horse, ie, as a being with the human will of a giant and, at the same time, intellectuality placed completely in the service of revelation from above – the horse being the obedient servant of its rider.

Thus, he represents in prodigious measure three activities of human will: seeking, knocking and asking – conforming to the saying of the Master of all masters, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew vii, 7).

At the same time, he will not put forward personal opinions or reasonable hypotheses; for his intellectuality – his “horses head” – will be moved solely by revelation from above. Like the horse, it will be directed by the rider. Nothing arbitrary will issue forth. This is the Arcanum at work on the historical plane.

Concerning its application in the domain of the individual’s inner life, it is analogous to the work of spiritual alchemy which operates on the historical plane. This means to say that the individual soul begins initially with the experience of separation and opposition to the spiritual and intellectual elements within it, then advances to – or resigns itself to – parallelism, ie, a kind of ‘peaceful coexistence’ of these two elements within it.

Subsequently it arrives at cooperation between spirituality and intellectuality which, proving to be fruitful, eventually becomes the complete fusion of these two elements in a third element – the ‘philosopher’s stone’ of the spiritual alchemy of Hermeticism. The beginning of this final stage is announced by the fact that logic becomes transformed from formal logic (ie, general and abstract logic) – passing through the intermediary stage of ‘organic logic’ – into moral logic (ie, material and essential logic).

*

Moral logic, in contrast to formal logic and organic logic, operates with values instead of notions of grammar, mathematics or biological functions. Thus, if formal logic can go only so far towards the idea of God as to postulate the necessity of admitting a beginning in the chain of cause and effect – postulating a First Cause (primus motor) – and if organic logic, that of functions, cannot come further than postulating in the order of existing in the world of existence of God as the ordering principle – the ‘law of laws’ of the world – moral logic comes to the postulate that God is the ‘value of values’, that he is love.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XXI, The Fool

Mar 022011
 

“As you may perhaps already have grasped, the Salamanders are composed of the most subtle portions of the Sphere of Fire, fused together and organised by the action of the Universal Fire, of which I will discourse to you some day. It is called the Universal Fire because it is the inherent cause of every movement in Nature. Likewise the Sylphs are composed of the purest atoms of the Air, the Nymphs of the most subtle essences of the Water, and the Gnomes of the finest particles of the Earth.

Adam was closely related to these perfect creatures, for being created out of all that was purest in the four Elements, he combined in himself the perfections of these four races of Peoples and was their natural King. As you will learn later, however, the moment his sin had precipitated him into the dregs of the Elements, the harmony was disturbed and there could no longer be any relation between him, gross and impure as he had become, and these pure and subtle beings.

How remedy this evil? How restring the lute and recover that lost sovereignty? Oh Nature! Why art thou so little studied? Do you not understand, my Son, how easy Nature finds it to restore to man the estate which he has lost?”

Comte de Gabalais, Discourse II

Feb 122011
 

Reasoning shows you in musical stories

That hearing you are seeing in Spirit much more.

Deep in the depths of our Soul we must glean

From the illusion our dreams.

Sleep to let go of the worldly sensations,

Reach out to find all the new generations.

Know all the elements, revel in nature;

Know how that minor key could not be greater.

So, blew the wind

And they sailed through the distance.

Become with your mind.

Become.

Solar System.

“Meek”, He said, “the World is thine,”

Speaking seasons into “Time”,

Said the words to form each part.

“Energy” created art.

Feb 032011
 

What is essential in order that spiritual truth is not forgotten, and that it lives? Hope, true creativity and tradition are the essential factors. The corroborating testimony of the three ever-present witnesses – spirit, blood and water – is necessary.

True testimony through the spirit, through blood, and through water will never fall into forgetfulness. One can kill spiritual truth, but it will resurrect.

Now, the unity of hope, creativity and tradition is the agent of growth. It is the concerted action of spirit, blood and water. It is therefore indestructible; its action is irreversible; and its movement is irresistible. And it is the agent of growth which is, in the last analysis, the subject of the Emerald Table of Hermes Trismegistus.

And all things were made by meditation of the One, so all things arose from this one thing by a single act of adaptation,” says the Emerald Tablet (Tabula Smaragdina, 3). Which amounts to saying: as the One is the creator of the essence of all things, thus there is a unique agent which adapts the existence of all things to their essence – the principle of adaptation of that which is born to its created prototype.

This is the agent of growth or the principle of evolution. It is engendered by the spontaneous light of hope (the sun) reflected in the movement of the lower waters (the moon), which produces the general impulse or ‘push’ (the wind), which bears primordial hope towards its realisation in the material domain (the earth), which donates it with its constructive elements (ie, nourishes or ‘nurses’ it). Thus, the Emerald Table continues:

The father thereof is the sun, the mother the moon; the wind carried it in its womb; the earth is the nurse thereof. (Tabula Smaragdina, 4)

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XVII, The Star