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«***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HIDDEN SYMBOLISM OF ALCHEMY AND THE OCCULT ARTS*** Hidden Symbolism of ALCHEMY and the OCCULT ARTS (Formerly ...»

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Between ida and pingala sits the young widow kundalini. You [279] should awake the sleeping serpent [kundalini] by taking hold of its tail. That sakti, leaving off sleep, goes up forcibly.” 214 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts (Hatha-Yoga, Prad., III, 105-111.) Ram Prasad (“Nature's Finer Forces,” p. 189) writes about the kundalini: “This power sleeps in the developed organism. It is that power which draws in gross matter from the mother organism through the umbilical cord and distributes it to the different places, where the seminal prana gives it form. When the child separates from the mother the power goes to sleep.” Here the kundalini sakti appears clearly in connection with the mother. Siva is the god [father image] most peculiar to the yogis. The wife of Siva, however, is called Kundalini.

Mythologically expressed, introversion proceeds well if the hero defeats the dragon. If this does not happen, an unsuccessful issue is the result; the man loses himself. In my opinion this losing of self is possible in two ways, one active, the other passive. In all there would then be three terminations of introversion. The good conclusion is the entrance into the true mystical work, briefly, mysticism. The bad conclusions are the active way of magic and the passive one of schizophrenia (introversion psychosis). In the first case there is consummated an inner reunion, in the other two cases a losing of self; in magic one loses oneself in passions, for which one wishes to create satisfaction magically, absolving oneself from the laws of nature; in the case of mental malady the sinking develops into laziness, a spiritual death. The three [280] paths followed by the introverting individual correspond roughly to these three other possibilities of life, work (morality), crime, suicide. These three possibilities are, of course, recognized by the hermetic art; it recognizes three fundamental powers, which can give no other result psychically. Two of these principles are mutually opposed (in the unpurified condition of the material).

We know them quite well as [Symbol: Fire] and [Symbol:

Water], etc. The third principle lies evenly between the other two, like the staff of Hermes between the two serpents. So the symbol [Symbol: Mercurius], as Hermes' staff with the serpents, precisely unites all three. In this aspect the three qualities or B. Effects Of Introversion. 215 constituents of matter (prakrti) may at once be substituted for the three fundamental powers of alchemy according to the Hindu samkhya doctrine. Sattva, Rajas, Tamas, are translated (by Schroeder) by “purity, passion, darkness.” In the Bhagavad-Gita it is said of the happiness that these

three grant:

–  –  –

“Passion” and “darkness,” Rajas and Tamas, (in alchemy indicated by [Symbol: Fire] and [Symbol: Water], also often by [Symbol: Mars] and [Symbol: Venus]) indicate the wrong way, the peril in introversion. They lead to what Gorres (Christl.

Myst.) describes as the “demoniac” mysticism as opposed to the divine mysticism. All mystic manuals warn us of the wrong way and emphasize often that we can easily lose the way even where there is good intention. The evil one knows how, by illusions, to make the false way deceptively like the right one, so that the righteous man, who is not on his guard, may get unsuspectingly into the worst entanglements. Careful examination of himself, exact observation of the effect of the spiritual exercises, is to be laid to heart by every one. Yet powers come into play that have their roots in the deepest darkness of the soul (in the unconscious) 216 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts and which are withdrawn from superficial view. [After this had been written I read a short paper of Dr. Karl Furtmüller, entitled “Psychoanalyse und Ethik,” and find there, p. 5, a passage which I reproduce here on account of its agreement with my position. I must state at the outset that according to Furtmüller, psychoanalysis is peculiarly qualified to arouse suspicion against the banal conscience, which leads self-examination into the realm of the conscious only, with neglect of the unconscious impulses, [282] which are quite as important for the performance of actions.

The passage of interest to us here reads: “There is no lack of intimation that these fundamental facts which place the whole of life in a new perspective, were recognized or suspected even in earlier times. If early Christianity believed that demons could overpower the heart of man in the sense that they assumed the voice of God, and the man believed that, while really doing the devil's work he was doing the work of God, then that sounds like a symbolic representation of the play of the forces that are described above.” The play of these forces was indeed known to cultivated religious peoples of all times. As for Christianity, what the author asserts of its beginnings can be accepted as true for a much earlier time. We already know that one of the first works of mysticism consists in the education of the conscience, in a most subtle purification of this judicial inner eye. The claims of the psychoanalyst are there fulfilled to the uttermost.] Instead of many examples I gladly quote a single one, but an instructive exposition by Walter Hitton, a great master of the contemplative life, from his “Scala Perfectionis” as Beaumont (Tract. v. Gust.





pub. 1721, pp. 188 ff.) renders it. Thus he writes: “From what I said we can to some extent perceive that visions and revelations, or any kind of spirit in bodily appearance, or in the imagination in sleep or waking, or any other sensation in the bodily senses that are, as it were, spiritually performed, either through a sound [283] in the ears or taste in the mouth or smell in the nose, or any other perceptible heat of fiery quality that warms the breast or B. Effects Of Introversion. 217 any other part of the body, or any other thing that can be felt by a bodily sense, even if it is not so refreshing and agreeable, all this is not contemplation or observation; but in respect of the spiritual virtues, and those of celestial perception and love towards God, which accompany true contemplation, only evil secondary matters, even if they appear to be laudable and good.

All such kinds of sensation may be good if produced by a good angel, but may, however, proceed in a deceptive manner, from the impositions of a bad angel, if he disguises himself as an angel of light. For the devil can imitate in bodily sensations exactly the same things that a good angel can accomplish. Indeed, just as the good angels come with light, so can the devil do also. And just as he can fabricate this in things that appear to the eyes, so he can bring it to pass in the other senses. The man who has perceived both can best say which is good and which is evil. But whoever knows neither or only one, can very easily be deceived.” Externally, in the sense quality, they are all similar, but internally they are very different. And therefore we should not too strongly desire them, nor lightly maintain that the soul can distinguish between the good and evil by the spirit of difference, so that it may not be deceived. As St. John says: “Believe not every spirit, but prove it first whether it be of God or not.” And to know whether the perception of the bodily sense is good or [284]

evil, Hitton gives the following rule:

“If ye see an unusual light or brilliance with your bodily eye, or in imagination, or if ye hear any wonderful supernatural sound with your ears, or if ye perceive a sudden sweet taste in your mouths or feel any warmth in your breasts, like fire, or any form of pleasure in any part of your body, or if ye see a spirit in a bodily form, as if he were an angel to fortify or instruct you, or if any such feeling that you know comes not from you or from a physical creature, then observe yourselves with great care at such a time and consider the emotions of your heart prudently. For if ye become aware by occasion of pleasure or satisfaction derived 218 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts from such perception, that your hearts are drawn away from

the contemplation of Jesus Christ and from spiritual exercises:

as from prayer, and knowledge of yourselves and your failings, and from the turning in towards virtue and spiritual knowledge and perception of God, with result that your heart and your inclinations, your desire and your repose depend chiefly on the above mentioned feeling or sight, in that ye therefore retain them, as if that were a part of the celestial joy or angelic bliss, and therefore your thoughts become such that ye neither pray nor can think of anything else, but must entirely give way to that, in order to keep it and satisfy yourself with it, then this sensation is very much to be suspected of coming from the Enemy; and therefore were it ever so wonderful and striking, still renounce it [285] and do not consent to accept it. For this is a snare of the Enemy, to lead the soul astray by such bodily sensation or agreeableness of the senses, and to trap it in order to hurl it into spiritual arrogance and false security, which happens if it flatters itself as if it enjoyed celestial bliss and on account of the pleasure it feels were already half in paradise, while it is still in fact at the gate of hell, and therefore through pride and presumptuousness may have fallen into error, heresy, fanaticism and other bodily or spiritual disaster.

“In case, however, that these things do not result in leading away your heart from spiritual exercises, but cause ye to become ever more devout and more ardent in prayer and more wise to cultivate spiritual thoughts; if ye are at first astonished but nevertheless your heart turns back and is awakened to greater longing for virtue and your love toward God and your neighbor increases more and more, and makes you ever meeker in your own eyes; then you may infer from this sign that it is of God and comes from the presence and action of a good angel, and comes from the goodness of God, either for comfort to simple pious souls to increase their trust in and longing for God, and because of such a strengthening to seek more thoroughly for the B. Effects Of Introversion. 219 knowledge and love of God. Or if they are perfect that perceive such a pleasure, it appears to them somewhat like a foretaste and shadow of the transfiguration of the body which it may expect [286] in the celestial bliss.” However, I do not know whether such a man can be found on earth.

“He continues: Of this method of distinguishing between the works of the spirits, Saint John (I John IV, 3) speaks in his epistle: ‘Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God’ (or as it is translated by Luther: ‘Who does not recognize that Jesus Christ is come into the flesh’). This union and connection of Jesus with the human soul is caused by a good will and a zealous striving toward him, which alone desires to possess him and to view him spiritually in his blessedness.

The greater this longing the more closely is Jesus united with the soul, and the less the longing, the more loosely is he bound to him. So every spirit or every sensation that diminishes this longing, and draws it away from the steadfast contemplation of Jesus Christ and from sighing and longing like a child for him, this spirit will release Jesus from the soul, and therefore it is not from God but the activity of the Enemy. But if a spirit or a sensation increases this desire, fastens the bonds of love and devotion closer to Jesus, raises the eyes of the soul to spiritual knowledge more and more, and makes the heart ever meeker, this spirit is from God.” In many of the modern theosophic introversion methods, borrowed from the Hindu yoga doctrines, we find the exhortation to attach no importance to the marvels appearing beside the real prize, indeed to regard them as a pernicious by-product. The [287] Hindu doctrine calls them Siddhi. Walter Hitton speaks of them as “inferior subordinate matters.” From the description of them it appears that they are phantastic appearances, which partly flatter the wish for power, partly other wishes. [See Note E at the end of this volume.] The Siddhi are qualified to captivate weak minds with their jugglery. Erotic experiences are connected very easily 220 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts with them because, going over into the regressive phase, they show their “titanic” countenances. I have with some daring, but not without right, just cited the Siddhi as the anagogic equivalent of autoerotism. The regressive phase, however, appears as soon as one indulges in the gratification of the Siddhi. It is not the Siddhi themselves that are the evil (I regard them indeed as anagogic), but the losing of oneself in them. They can be both divine and diabolic. That depends on one's attitude towards them.

In the result of introversion, the diabolic mysticism is opposed, as we saw, to the divine. The true mysticism is characterized by the extension of personality and the false by the shrinking of personality. We can also say, by an extension or shrinking of the sphere of interest that determines the socially valuable attitude.

I say advisedly “sphere of interest,” for mysticism in the end will not merely fulfill the social law without love, but it labors for the bringing out of this very love. It is not satisfied with superficially tincturing the substance into gold (i.e., among other [288] meanings, to get man to do good externally); but it would change the substance completely, make it gold through and through (i.e., to orient the entire impulse power of man for good, so that he desires this good with the warmth of love and therefore finds his good fortune in virtue). Only the good and not the good fortune is chosen as the leading star, as I must note in order to avoid a misconception about the hermetic procedure. Happiness arises only at a certain point, and seems to me like a fruit ripened in the meantime. The most subtle representatives of this doctrine among the alchemists are not so far, after all, from the Kantian ethics.

Alchemistic ethics presupposes that there is an education, an ennobling of the will. The person that wills can learn to encompass infinitely much in his ego. [Cf. Furtmüller (Psychoanalyse und Ethik, p. 15): “The individual can...

make the commands of others his own.” He quotes Goethe (Die

Geheimnisse):

B. Effects Of Introversion. 221



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