The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heaven, and strikes
The Sultan’s Turret with a Shaft of Light
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
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
Love and pain and work should all sleep, now.
The night turns on its invisible wheels,
and you are pure beside me as a sleeping ember.
No one else, Love, will sleep in my dreams. You will go,
we will go together, over the waters of time.
No one else will travel through the shadows with me,
only you, evergreen, ever sun, ever moon.
Your hands have already opened their delicate fists
and let their soft drifting signs drop away;
your eyes closed like two gray wings, and I move
after, following the folding water you carry, that carries
me away. The night, the world, the wind spin out their destiny.
Without you, I am your dream, only that, and that is all.”
Pablo Neruda, Sonnet LXXXI
“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!”
At the turning point of time
The cosmic spirit-light stepped
Into earthly evolution;
Had ended its reign;
The bright light of day
Streamed into human souls;
The poor shepherd hearts
The wise kings’ heads.
Sun of Christ,
Our hearts —
So that good results
Our hearts beget,
Forcefully will to do.
Foundation Stone Meditation, Rudolf Steiner
It is when your spirit goes wandering upon the wind,
That you, alone and unguarded, commit a wrong unto others and therefore unto yourself.
And for that wrong committed must you knock and wait a while unheeded at the gate of the blessed.
Like the ocean is your god-self;
It remains for ever undefiled.
And like the ether it lifts but the winged. Even like the sun is your god-self;
It knows not the ways of the mole nor seeks it the holes of the serpent.
But your god-self dwells not alone in your being.
Much in you is still man, and much in you is not yet man,
But a shapeless pigmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakening.
And of the man in you would I now speak.
For it is he and not your god-self nor the pigmy in the mist, that knows crime and the punishment of crime.
Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.
But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.
And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,
So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all.
Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self.
You are the way and the wayfarers.
And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.
Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.
And if any of you would punish in the name of righteousness and lay the ax unto the evil tree, let him see to its roots;
And verily he will find the roots of the good and the bad, the fruitful and the fruitless, all entwined together in the silent heart of the earth.
And you judges who would be just,
What judgment pronounce you upon him who though honest in the flesh yet is a thief in spirit?
What penalty lay you upon him who slays in the flesh yet is himself slain in the spirit?
And how prosecute you him who in action is a deceiver and an oppressor,
Yet who also is aggrieved and outraged?
And how shall you punish those whose remorse is already greater than their misdeeds?
Is not remorse the justice which is administered by that very law which you would fain serve?
Yet you cannot lay remorse upon the innocent nor lift it from the heart of the guilty.
Unbidden shall it call in the night, that men may wake and gaze upon themselves.
And you who would understand justice, how shall you unless you look upon all deeds in the fullness of light?
Only then shall you know that the erect and the fallen are but one man standing in twilight between the night of his pigmy-self and the day of his god-self,
And that the corner-stone of the temple is not higher than the lowest stone in its foundation.
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
The setting midsummer sun found the witness in a distinctly prayerful posture, shrouded by heady masala incense and calling Earth to witness. Venus had emerged, triumphant as a diamond on her band of gold, heralding the rising moon and guided to the altar by a vast and dominant Jupiter.
Pondering this crystal-clear sky, the witness could see how the dazzling quintessential force of the even-star was polarised by the glowing pharos of Mars, beckoning his paramour as he bequeathed to her the dark and endless night. The imperator of war was in a state of surrender at the temple of beauty.
The witness wondered about the effects of Mars’ conjunction with Venus, Jupiter and Mercury beyond the perfect moon, at that very instant deflecting onto captivated Earth the magnified potential for an alchemical wedding. This compelling planetary event was irresistibly conspiring with the precession of the equinoxes to create the most potent cosmic conditions that had ever been witnessed from Earth – at least since the Star of the Magi heralded the turning point of history.
Or so it seemed.
How can such a sign be ignored? thought the witness.
The answer was that it could not!
That the divine plan might remain unfulfilled was inconceivable, but how, precisely, it was to manifest would remain the Mother of all Mysteries.
Or perhaps it had been Venus….
Again there was no answer, but the witness now felt sure this was when the rare and ancient copy of ‘Pros Theon’, which translated into English as ‘By the Gods’, had last been consulted.
But where is it now, for heaven’s sake?
Who could say?
Precisely as the confident sun was crossed by a thick, scudding, cloud, the atmosphere in Mysteries was electrified by morbid anxiety verging on panic. To lose the book would be an unmitigated disaster, of that there could be no doubt. There were only seven known-of copies on the planet, the other two having been lost in the midst of time – one after being buried many moons ago by the earthly entrance to Shambhala – while three updated versions were yet to be recalled and translated from the Akashic records.
A well-preserved copy was with the Dalai Lama, while the elder Rabbi – who had denied its existence no less than 28 times because of his pathological obsession with total secrecy – kept a pristine version within a hidden compartment in his personal library. Mahavatar Babajihad also received a Pros Theon scroll that he subsequently left with his disciples, while an un-heard of Sufi Magician inherited the fifth from his grandfather.
The Catholic Church had the remaining extant copies of Pros Theon. The first was mostly in fragments and frequently misinterpreted due to the high number of puzzling gaps in crucial places, while a second had been retrieved by the Knights Templar from a vault below the Church of the Sepulchre in Jerusalem, shortly before mad caliph al-Hakim came to power in the dark ages.
Sealed in a ruby and amethyst-encrusted casket that was locked with a golden key bearing three perfect emeralds and a set of alchemical sigils that were barely understood by anyone alive or dead, this particular copy of Pros Theon had not been opened for almost 1,000 years and nor would it ever be again.
The witness felt a sudden chill. Was it possible that the only freely available text had been lost or – it hardly bore contemplating – stolen? Oh, the horrors if that were true! The very thought brought about cold sweats and a search that was renewed with marked zelatory.
Holy Moses and Mary, Christ the everlasting Lord, please don’t let Pros Theon fall into the wrong hands. Forgive me for so carelessly misplacing it, I beg of you to let me find The Book…I sense that the shift is now occurring and the world must be told what is written for The Days of Transformation!
The witness sighed, deep in thought, and approached an overloaded bookcase standing against the Eastern wall of Mysteries’ upper room, near to the point where horoscopes were cast.
Dazzling sunlight rendered a large cross-section of the case invisible with its blinding rays, while the lower parts were swathed in darkness, forming a vivid chiaroscuro on the rich mahogany canvas.
The lovingly burnished bookcase was home to a myriad esoteric masterworks and timeless classics. Ancient volumes interspersed with lavishly illustrated fairy tales and poetry written in the green language were stacked two-deep in places and upside-down in others.
It would not be a simple matter to extract from all of this the book that the witness had in Mind. Indeed, at that moment in time it would prove impossible.
Scanning the shelves intently, following the words on each well-worn spine with a neatly-nailed forefinger, everything but the item sought was readily apparent.
The shadow of a home-spun dream catcher – hypnotically swaying above the wide open window – crept inexorably along the ceiling like a spider’s web as minutes passed by into an hour of fruitless seeking. Church bells began ringing in the middle distance, heralding both an end of day and onset of night, bridging twilight with their other-worldly call to evensong.
Tension swiftly mounted in the upper room, causing a very mild sweat to break out on the witness’ furrowing brow. Thoughts from what was by any standards a wide-open brow chakra permeated the charged atmosphere with a note of concern.
Where on Earth IS the magic book?
* John Fowles, The Magus
At the very end of the New Testament John described the holy of holies that he saw in his vision. There was the throne of God and the Lamb, there was the river of the water of life, and there was the tree of life. The servants of God and the Lamb saw his face and had his name on their foreheads. They stood in a place of perpetual heavenly light, needing neither lamp no sun, and the reigned fore ever (Rev.22.1-5). For the first Christians, this was their vision of heaven.
They were standing in the temple, but not the temple rebuilt by Herod and completed only a few years earlier. They were standing in the temple as it should have been, as it had once been and as they hoped it soon would be, because in their vision they were standing in the true temple. The temple they knew – or had known, since there is no way of dating this vision – had neither the heavenly throne nor the tree of life in the holy of holies. Josephus says that at the end of the second temple period, the holy of holies was empty.
In another part of the vision of the temple, John saw the ark (Rev.11.19) which had been lost for centuries. Later tradition remembered it had disappeared in the time of King Josiah, during the temple purges of 623 BCE. It would be restored in the time of the Messiah, along with the other things that had been in the first temple but not in the second: the fire, the menorah, the Spirit and the cherubim. Since the first temple furnishings symbolised the temple teachings, this was saying that the faith of the second temple was very different from the faith of the original temple.
Margaret Barker, The Mother of the Lord