The 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.
How then is a new spring, a new source of living water to be found? How the rock struck? With which wand, and under what mandate?
It is by the gathering of a few friends with a common purpose. And with a faith in the reality and good will of those in the spiritual world whom they seek to make contact, and from whom they will receive protection, enlightenment and teaching. This gathering of friends in common purpose and respect is the natural warmth that is spoken of in alchemy.
To warm the alchemical still of the ‘first matter’, the prima materia. To hatch the cosmic egg so that a live chick shall be born. The alchemical bird, that at first needs careful nourishing, but which will grow by due care and process into a powerful creature indeed, an immortal phoenix.
And this element of the alchemical bird being a phoenix is further indication of how the spark of the Mysteries, once lit, is passed on. For the original fire, even if largely smothered, banked up by its own ash so that it hardly gives out further light of heat or living flame, can burst forth again. Any ember from that source of inner fire can be fanned by those who know and care, into a new manifestation of the phoenix – which will rise in a blaze of wonder and glory as powerful as ever it was when first hatched, induced and evoked.
This is a natural path of progress in the Mysteries over the course of time.
This surely is a great miracle and without any deception – that in a venomous dragon there should be the great medicine.
The Mercury is precipitated or sublimed, dissolved in its own proper water, and then once more coagulated.
A savage Dragon lives in the forest, Most venomous he is, yet lacking nothing:
When he sees the rays of the Sun and its bright fire, He scatters abroad his poison, And flies upward so fiercely That no living creature can stand before him, Nor is even the Basilisk equal to him.
He who hath skill to slay him, wisely Hath escaped from all dangers. Yet all venom, and colours, are multiplied In the hour of his death. His venom becomes the great Medicine.
He quickly consumes his venom, For he devours his poisonous tail. All this is performed on his own body, From which flows forth glorious Balm, With all its miraculous virtues. Hereat all the Sages do loudly rejoice.
“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?”
If it were sufficient to love, things would be too easy. The more one loves the stronger the absurd grows. It is not through lack of love that Don Juan goes from woman to woman to woman. It is ridiculous to represent him as a mystic in quest of total love. But it is indeed because he loves them with the same passion and each time with his whole self that he must repeat his gift and his profound quest.
Whence each woman hopes to give him what no one has ever given him. Each time they are utterly wrong and merely manage to make him feel the need of that repetition. ‘At last’, exclaims one of them, ‘ I have given you love’. Can we be surprised that Don Juan laughs at this? ‘At last?’ ‘No’, he says’, ‘but once more.’ Why should it be essential to love rarely in order to love much?
Is Don Juan melancholy? This is not likely. I shall barely have recourse to the legend. That laugh, the conquering insolence, that playfulness and love of the theatre are all clear and joyous. Every healthy creature tends to multiply himself. So it is with Don Juan. But furthermore melancholy people have two reasons for being so: they don’t know or they hope. Dont Juan knows and does not hope.
He reminds one of those artists who know their limits, never go beyond them, and in that precarious interval in which they take their spiritual stand enjoy all the wonderful ease of masters. And that is, indeed, genius: the intelligence that knows its frontiers. Up to the frontier of physical death Don Juan is ignorant of melancholy. The moment he knows, his laugh bursts forth and makes one forgive everything. He was melancholy at the time when he hoped.
Today, on the mouth of that woman he recognises the bitter and comforting taste of the only knowledge. Bitter? Barely: that necessary imperfection that makes happiness perceptible! It is quite false to try to see in Don Juan a man brought up on Ecclesiastes. For nothing is vanity to him except the hope of another life. He proves this because he gambles that other life against heaven itself. Longing for desire killed by satisfaction, that commonplace of the impotent man does not belong to him.
And this was the death; for the soul’s fire proceeding from the Father’s property turned itself away from the Son’s property, in which alone the divine life consists. Thus the property of the soul remained naked only with its will in the outward Sulphur, and the inward disappeared, and continued steadfast in the eternal unchangeableness, as in an eternal nothing, wherein there was no more any effecting [or working efficacy to bring to pass].
Thus man with his outward body lived barely and merely to the time; the precious gold of the heavenly corporality, which tinctured the outward body, was disappeared, and so the outward body stood barely and alone in the life of nature’s desire, in the soul’s fiery property; understand in the form and property of Mars, in the wrath of God, which is the wrath in Sulphur, the property of God’s anger and the dark world: But seeing the outward body was created out of the time, therefore the time, the constellation with the four elements, presently obtained the dominion in him; and the divine property, the desire of the Deity (which ruled and tinctured time, so that there was a holy life in the creature out of the time), was vanished; its own peculiar love in the divine desire was turned to water, and it became blind and dead in the will and desire of God; and the soul must help itself with the sun’s light.
But seeing that time has beginning and end, and the will with the desire has given up itself to the temporal leader, therefore the dominion of time destroys its own contrived spirit, and so the body also dies and passes away; and this is that which God said to Adam, that “he should not eat of the tree, or plant, of the knowledge of good and evil,” of both properties, lest he died; as it also came to pass, he died in the Sulphur; the Sul in the kingdom of God, the lubet of the divine liberty, out of which the light of God shines, and in which the divine love, the love-fire burns [disappeared and withdrew from him].
Now there was no remedy for him, unless God’s desire entered again into his dead Sulphur, that is, into his Sul, which was dead, into the dead [or mortified] essentiality, and again enkindled it with the love-fire; which came to pass in Christ: And there the heavenly body, wherein God’s light shines, did again arise. But if this must be effected, then the love-desire must again enter into the desire of the enkindled anger, and quench and overcome the anger with the love; the divine water must enter again into the soul’s burning fire, and quench the wrathful death in the astringent fiat, in the desire to nature, that the love-desire, which desires God, might be again enkindled in the soul.
My line of vision connected directly with the eyes of the Eagle in the very first instant; joy welled up inside me so powerfully in the same moment that I quickly leapt from the bed and ran towards the window.
Precisely as I moved, the Eagle spread his wings and flew towards me in a perfect horizontal line, as if our eyes were joined by invisible threads that were pulling us together.
I was just aware that my ‘other self’ – my reason – generally present with me during experiences of this kind, was with me on the left, just outside the reach of my peripheral vision. We reached the window exactly as the Eagle did and for a split second it crossed my mind that I might be a form of prey for this great creature.
I gave not pause to the doubt, however, for I was simply ecstatic to see him, no matter what else happened. As my hands reached the glass of the window the Eagle had to bank upwards – unable to fly through – and I saw the entire underside of its massive body. Only the very bottom edge of the window was open. I was frantically dismayed that he couldn’t get in and put my hand outside, longing to at least touch its tail feathers.
While I was disappointed he had been unable to stay – painfully so – my last feeling was that I felt very lucky to have seen him at all. I sensed it was a rare occasion for anyone.