Mar 242011
 

You will understand the role played by the mantle enveloping the Hermit, when he employs his lamp for seeing clearly in particular problems, and when he employs his staff for probing his terrain. The ‘mantle’ is the presence at a deeper level of consciousness of the whole truth, and it is this which envelops and inspires all intellectual work relating to particular problems that is carried out by the conscious self with its lamp and staff.

It is this which gives the conscious self direction and style, and sees to it that each solution to each particular problem is in harmony with the whole. The whole truth lives at this deeper level, and is present there as the certainty of absolute faith, as the certainty of the imprint of truth from above.

The initiate is someone who knows everything. He is a person who bears the truth within a deeper level of his consciousness, not as an intellectual system, but rather as a level in his being, as a ‘mantle’ which envelops him. This truth-imprint manifests itself as unshakable certainty, ie, as faith in the sense of the voice of the presence of truth.

Truth attained through synthesis is present at a deeper level of consciousness than that of the consciousness of self. It is found in darkness. It is from this darkness that the rays of light of particular branches of knowledge are emitted, as a result of efforts aspiring to the “neutralisation of binaries” or the “solution of antinomies”.

These efforts are nothing other than excursions into the region of this deeper level of consciousness; they are contacts established with the inner darkness, which is full of revelations of truth.

The knowledge and power drawn from this dark and silent region of luminous certainty can be well described as the “gift of Perfect Night”, mentioned in Kore Kosmou, the sacred book of Hermes Trismegistus. The ‘Gift of Perfect Night’ manifests itself in consequence of such spiritual endeavours as are implied by the ‘neutralisation of binaries’ or the ‘solution of antinomies’. It is, one can say, the very essence of Hermeticism and constitutes at one and teh same time the method which is proper to it and the faculty of knowledge to the exercise of which its very existence is due.

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter IX, The Hermit

Jul 052010
 

The Arcana of the Tarot, I must stress, are spiritual exercises. And the ninth Arcanum, the Hermit, is one of them.

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One undertakes the essential thing about this exercise, namely the endeavour to draw light from darkness, ie, an effort aiming at knowledge which appears to you to be not only unknown but unknowable.

In fact, every serious antimony signifies psychologically: “the light that I possess is polarised at two poles; between these two luminous poles there is only one darkness”. Now, it is from this darkness that the solution to the antimony, the synthesis, must be drawn. It is necessary to create light from darkness. One could say that it is a matter of an act analogous to the Fiat lux (“let there be light”, Genesis i,3) of the first day of creation.

Experience teaches us that there are two kinds of darkness in the domain of consciousness. One is that of ignorance, passivity and laziness, which is ‘infralight’ darkness. The other, in contrast, is the darkness of higher knowledge, intense activity and endeavour still to be made – this isĀ  ‘ultra light’ . It is a question of this latter ‘darkness’ in instances where it is a matter of resolving an antimony or finding a synthesis.

Modern Hermetic literature takes account of the ‘neutralisation of binaries’, ie, the method where one finds the third term, or neutral term, for the two terms (‘binary’) corresponding to the active and passive principles….The method of ‘neutralisation of binaries’ is generally considered by Hermetic and occultist authors as the traditional method of Hermeticism.

Meditations on the Tarot, Unknown Author, Letter IX, The Hermit