Thus said the Poet: “When Death comes to you, All ye whose life-sand through the hour-glass slips, He lays two fingers on your ears, and two Upon your eyes he lays, one on your lips, Whispering: Silence!” Although deaf thine ear, Thine eye, my Hafiz, suffer Time’s eclipse, The songs though sangest still all men may hear.
Songs of dead laughter, songs of love once hot, Songs of a cup once flushed rose-red with wine, Songs of a rose whose beauty is forgot, A nightingale that piped hushed lays divine: And still a graver music runs beneath The tender love notes of those songs of thine’ Oh, seeker of the keys of Life and Death!
With his world-created eye;
He is bound by what he sees
To joy and pain of the World,
He is bound to all
That becomes, but no less
To all that falls headlong
Into dark realms of the Abyss.
With the spirit-endowed eye;
He is bound by what he beholds
To spirit-hoping and spiritual sustaining force;
He is bound by it to all
That has roots in eternities
And in eternities bears fruit.
But man can behold
Only when he feels the inner eye itself
As a member of the Divine Spirit
Which on the stage of the human soul
In the temple of the human body
Works the deeds of Gods.
Mankind is now forgetful
Of the Divine inner realm,
But it is our will to bring it
Into the clear light of consciousness,
And then bear above rubble and ashes
The divine flames in the heart of man.
Lightning-bolts may therefore shatter
Our houses in the world of sense;
We are building houses of the soul
From the iron-firm.
Light-weaving of knowledge.
And downfall of the outer
Shall become ascent
Of innermost soul-being.
Suffering draws near From the powers of material force; Hope rays forth its light, Even when darkness surrounds us; And it will one day Well up in our memory, When after the darkness We can again live in the light. We would not let this inner light be lacking In sun-illumined future times Because we now in suffering Have failed to plant it in our souls.
The universal everything is made of the singular consciousness of God. When a spark of that consiousnes is individualised by God, it becomes a soul, capable of ultimately expressing the God-image in which it is made. In essence, the soul is perfect and complete, an exact reflection of God’s ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new bliss. But when incarnate, it takes on the dualistic nature of creation, outwardly expressing primarily either a masculine or feminie, positive or negative, half of its essence.
This is why it is said in Oriental scriptures that when God reflected His consciousnes in created forms, they became “half-souls” by taking on through indentification the qualities of the manifested units of creation – positive or negative, reason or feeling-impregnated, male or female. These dual qualities are “soul mates” of each other to be eventually reunited – “they twain shall be one flesh” in order for the fully expressing soul to find liberation in Spirit.
Liberation was to be accomplished by their becoming united first to each other in divine friendship, the purest expression of God’s love shared between two individuals; and then, thus perfected, ready for the ultimate union with God….when two souls come together and bring out the wholeness in each other and ultimately unite with Spirit, that union is a true marriage between soul mates. Soul companions, being primarily united in Spirit and love, find the ever new joy of God as the breath of their existence.
Paramahansa Yogananda, The Second Coming of Christ, Discourse 62
When, at length, they have practiced themselves for some time in the journey of virtue, persevering in meditation and prayer, wherein, with the suavity and relish they have found, they have become detached from worldly things, and acquired some spiritual strength in God, so as to be able to curb the creature appetites and in some small degree suffer for God some slight load and dryness, without turning back at the crucial moment; when, to their thinking, they are proceeding in these spiritual exercises to their entire satisfaction and delight; and when the Sun of Divine favors seems to them to shine most radiantly upon them, God darkens all this light, and shuts the door and fountain of the sweet spiritual water, which they were wont to drink in God as often and as long as they chose … and thus, he leaves them in darkness so profound that they know not whither to direct the sense of the imagination and speculations of the mind.
The biblical story of Jacob is an allegory of human evolution on our planet. And his experience at Peniel (Face of God) is linked symbolically with the transformation of the basic octahedron into the Holy Temple octahedron. All human beings eventually undergo this high initiation, called the ShM Initiation (or ‘Name’ Initiation).
Jacob’s name-change to Israel (YShRAL) symbolises the elevation of human consciousness from the sefirah Tifaret (Jacob) to the sphere of Da’at (Israel). At that time Da’at becomes integrated into human consciousness and the ‘covenant of the Unique One’ (BRYTh YChYD) is activated.
During the evolution of the octahedron the ShM Pillar becomes established as its central axis. This occurs as Jacob’s guardian angel (Tifaret, Kaf) releases his hold on the Shin and Maym pathways and allows them to fully merge together. Jacob as Israel (Da’at) then assumes control of the ShM Pillar.
The ShM Pillar empowers Israel to become consciously involved in the divine Work of Yetzirah (Formation). In other words, after reconciling the paths of Shin and Maym within his own microcosmic self, Jacob as Israel is able to consciously assist the Creator in the macrocosmic merging of Binah (Shin, divine fire) with Hockmah (Maym, divine Water). In doing so, Israel takes his first step on the new path of cosmic evolution.
….she 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….
Now there was no remedy for him, unless God’s desire entered again into his dead Sulphur… 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
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
“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.