The ‘star’ which Hermeticists follow leads them to the manger – to the centre of history, to the centre of the psychic life (individuation), to the centre of universal evolution or the “supreme focus of the personalising personality”, to the Alpha and Omega of revelations, to the Heart which is at the centre of all hearts. For there is a centre of gravitation of hearts, just as there is a centre of gravitation of the planets. Like the latter, it causes the “seasons of the life of the soul”.
Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XIX, The Sun
….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
It should have begun to dawn on our cultural optimists that the forces of good are not sufficient to produce either a rational world-order or the faultless ethical behaviour of the individual, whereas the forces of evil are so strong that they imperil any order at all and can imprison the individual in a devilish system that commits the most fearful crimes, so that even if he is ethically minded he must finally forget his moral responsibility in order to go on living.
The malignity of collective man has shown itself in more terrifying forms today than ever before in history, and it is by this objective standard that the greater and the lesser sins should be measured. We need more casuistic subtlety, because it is no longer a question of extirpating evil but of the difficult art of putting a lesser evil in place of a greater one.
The time for the sweeping statements so dear to the evangelising moralist, which lighten his task in the most agreeable way, is long past. Nor can the conflict be escaped by a denial of moral values. The very idea of this is foreign to our instincts and contrary to nature. Every human group that is not actually sitting in prison will follow its accustomed paths according to the measure of its freedom. Whatever the intellectual definition and evaluation of good and evil may be, the conflict between them can never be eradicated, for no one can ever forget it.
Even the Christian who feels himself delivered from evil will, when the first rapture is over, remember the thorn in the flesh, which even St Paul could not remove.
These hints suffice to make clear what kind of spirit it is that the daughter needs. They are the truths which speak to the soul, which are not too loud and do not insist too much, but reach the individual in stillness – the individual who constitutes the meaning of the world. It is this knowledge that the daughter needs, in order to pass it to her son.
Carl Jung, Mysterium Conjunctionis, The Moon Nature
“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.
What is the source of this universe? What is Brahman? From where do we come? By what power do we live? Where do we find rest? Who rules over our joys and sorrows, O seers of Brahman?
Shall we think of time, or of the own nature of things, or of a law of necessity, or of chance, or of the elements, or of the power of creation of woman or man? Not a union of these, for above them is a soul who thinks. But our soul is under the power of pleasure and pain!
They also saw the river of life impetuously rushing with the five streams of sense-feelings which come from five sources, the five elements. Its waves are moved by five breathing winds, and its origin is a fivefold fountain of consciousness. This river has five whirlpools, and the violent waves of five sorrows. It has five stages of pain and five dangerous windings and turnings.
In this vast Wheel of creation wherein all things live and die, wanders round the human soul like a swan in a restless flying, and she thinks that God is afar. But when the love of God comes down upon her, then she finds her own immortal life.
God is found in the soul when sought with truth and self-sacrifice, as fire is found in wood, water in hidden springs, cream in milk, and the oil in the oil-fruit.
Where the fire of the Spirit burns, where the wind of the Spirit blows, where the Soma-wine of the Spirit overflows, there a new soul is born.
So three years she throve and prospered, but in the fourth year, (mark again the occult number of perfection,) a great dread came upon her, she was plagued in “the abysmal deeps of personality” with a sore despair. The moment of choice, the turning point had come, that period of which Esoteric Buddhism speaks as occurring for the race in the fifth round but to which some exceptional personalities have forced themselves in this our fourth round. Many occultists will see their own experience mirrored in that of this tormented and lonely soul, contemplating her “palace of strength whereof the foundation stones were laid since her first memory,” only to see in its dark corners, “uncertain shapes, horrible nightmares, white-eyed phantasms and hollow shades enclosing hearts of flame.” Do we not seem to see all the elemental world, led on by the dread Dweller of the Threshold here confronting us? The struggle is even more powerfully depicted but the lesson is learned; the soul may retrieve herself by a lowly life: she throws aside her royal robes, and recognizing the need of mixing with her kind, begs for a “cottage in the vale.”
If one goes through this trial by water – if one develops self-control – then one’s soul enters into a region of destiny where one not only has no ground beneath one’s feet and must find one’s own direction by a kind of ‘swimming’; the soul also enters here into a space devoid of air. One enters into an utter loneliness and wilderness of soul life.
The impulses of thinking, willing and feeling cease. One’s soul is like a sailing ship standing with sagging sails in windless weather. It enters into a condition in which all experiences cease. There is no basis upon which to sense, to feel, or to will. The soul is in complete loneliness.
Now the soul must find the presence of the spirit out of its own power. Without surrendering to passivity, it must find the strength for an impulse-to-action within itself. The soul’s awakening at the moment of falling asleep – awakening itself through the strength of its own inner being, through the power of the I itself, without any motive for staying awake – is the presence of the spirit (presence of mind).
The soul is spiritually present when it is silent. The power of the soul to keep itself awake at the moment of falling asleep is this presence of spirit. It makes intuition possible, and is necessary for intuitional knowledge.
These first three trials – these first three experiences – represent the human ascent into the spiritual world.
Valentin Tomberg, Inner Development, The Occult Trials