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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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From the law which binds all being The man is freed who masters himself.

The poles of shrinking and extension are the following: The magician and the pathological introversionist contract the sphere of their interest upon the narrowest egoism. The mystic expands it immensely, in that he comprises the whole world in himself.

The person egotistically entering into introversion can preserve his happiness only by a firm self-enclosure before the ever [289] threatening destruction; the mystic is free. The mystic's fortune consists in the union of his will with the world will or as another formula expresses it, in the union with God. [On the freeing effect of the merging of one's own will into a stronger cf. my essays Jb. ps. F., III, pp. 637 ff., and IV, p. 629.] This fortune is therefore also imperishable (gold). The reader must always bear in mind that the mystic never works on anything but on the problem of mankind in general; only he does so in a form of intensive life, and it may indeed be the case that the powers which introversion furnish him, actually make possible a more dynamic activity and a greater result. For my part I am strongly inclined to believe it.

On the extension of personality, some passages from the

Discourses on Divinity in the Bhagavad-Gita:

–  –  –

[290] These passages elucidate the progressive function of the idea of God in the “work.” Incidentally, I believe that the devotional doctrines (Yoga) which are theoretically based on the Samkhya philosophy that originated without a God, has for good practical reasons taken the idea of isvara (God) into its system.

Concentration requires an elevated impalpable object as an aim.

And this object must have the property of being above every reach of the power to grasp and yet apparently to seem attainable.

God has furthermore the functions of the bearer of conflicts and hopes. At the beginning of the work indeed the obstructing conflicts still exist. A certain unburdening is accomplished by leaving the conflict to the divinity, and frees the powers that were at first crippled under the pressure of the conflicts. [Cf. Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious, Freud Kl. Schr., II, p. 131.]

–  –  –

The idea of the education of the will has, of course, been familiar for a long time to ethical writers, even if it has at times been lost sight of.

Aristotle is convinced that morality arises from custom and convention. “As we learn swimming only in water, and music by practice on an instrument, so we become righteous by righteous action and moderate and courageous by appropriate acts. From uniform actions enduring habits are formed, and without a rational activity no one becomes good... being good is an act. Good is never by nature; we become good by a behavior corresponding to a norm. We possess morality not by nature but against nature. We have the disposition to attain it... we must completely win it by habit. As Plato says, in agreement with this, the proper education consists in being so led from youth upward, as to be glad and sorry about the things over which we should be glad and sorry. But if by a course of action in accordance with custom, a definite direction of the will has been secured, then pleasure and pain are added to the actions that result from the will and, as it were, as signs, that here a new nature is established in man.” (Jodl. Gesch. d. Eth., I, pp. 44 ff.) “The energy and the proud confidence in human power with which Aristotle offers to man his will and character formation as his own work, the emphasis with which he has opposed to the quietistic ‘velle non discitur’ (we cannot educate volition nor learn to will, as later pessimistic opinions have expressed it axiomatically) with the real indispensability and at the same time the possibility of the formation of the will; this contention is admirable and quite characteristic of the methods of thought of ancient philosophy at its height.” (Jodl., l. c., p. 49.) [Velle non discitur has been [292] popularized by Schopenhauer.] In Philo and the related philosophers there appears quite clearly the thought that gained such wide acceptance later among the Christian ascetics, that the highest development of moral strength was attainable only through a long continued and gradually 224 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts increasing exercise, an ethical gymnastics. Philo, moreover, uses the word Askesis to describe what elsewhere had been described as bodily exercise. The occidental spiritual exercise corresponds to the Hindu yoga.

In the domestication of man through countless generations, social instincts must have been established, which appear as moral dispositions. I recall the moral feeling in Shaftesbury.

The social life of man, for instance, plays with Adam Smith a significant rôle, and yet even with him the moral law is not something ready from the very beginning, not an innate imperative, but the peculiar product of each individual. The development of conscience receives an interesting treatment by Smith. There takes place in us a natural transposition of feelings, mediated through sympathy, which arouse in each of us the qualities of the other, and we can say “that morality in Smith's sense, just as Feuerbach taught later, is only reflected self-interest, although Smith himself was quite unwilling to look at sympathy as an egotistic principle. By means of a process that we can almost call a kind of self-deception of the imagination, we must look at ourselves with the eyes of others, a very [293] sensible precaution of nature, which thus has created a balance for impulses that otherwise must have operated detrimentally.





[Bear in mind what I have said above about intro-determination.] This transposition which sympathy effects we cannot escape;

it itself appears when we know that we are protected from the criticism of another by the complete privacy of our own doings.

It alone can keep us upright when all about us misunderstand us and judge us falsely. For the actual judgments of another about us form, so to speak, a first court whose findings are continually being corrected by that completely unpartisan and well informed witness who grows up with us and reacts on all our doings.” (Jodl., l. c., I, pp. 372 ff.) The derivation of the moral from selfish impulses by transposition does not resolve ethics into egoism, as Helvetius B. Effects Of Introversion. 225 would have us believe. It is “a caricature of the true state of things to speak of self-interest, when we have in mind magnanimity and beneficence, and to maintain that beneficence is nothing but disguised selfishness, because it produces joy or brings honor to the person that practices it.” (L. c., p. 444.) The ethical evolution which takes place as an extension of personality demands, the more actively it is practiced, the removal of resistances which operate against the expansion of the ego. It cannot be denied that hostile tendencies, which are linked with pusillanimous views, are always on hand and create conflicts.

If they were not, the moral task would be an easy one. Now [294] as man cannot serve two masters, so in the personal psychical household, the points of view which have been dethroned, as far as they will not unite with the newly acquired ones, must be killed, and ousted from their power. Most of all must this process be made effective if the development is taken up intensively in the shape of introversion. It must appear also in the symbolism.

Already in the lecanomantic experiments we are struck by the dying of the figure (old man) that represents the old form of conscience that has been overcome. It is that part of Lea's psyche that resists the new, after the manner of old people (father type).

In order that the new may be suppressed, it must be immolated;

at every step in his evolution man must give up something; not without sacrifice, not without renunciation, is the better attained.

The sacrifice must come, of course, before the new reformed life begins. The hermetic representations do not indeed always follow chronological order, yet the sacrifice is usually placed at the beginning, as introversion. In the parable the wanderer kills the lion, well at the beginning. He sacrifices something in so doing. He kills himself, i.e., a part of himself, in order to be able to rise renewed (regenerated). This process is the first mystical death, also called by the alchemists, putrefaction or the blacks.

This death is often fused with the symbol of introversion, because both can appear under the symbol of the entrance into the mother 226 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts or earth. Only by closer examination can it sometimes be seen [295] which process is chiefly intended.

“And that shalt thou know my son, whoso does not know how to kill, and to bring about a rebirth, to make the spirits revive, to purify, to make bright and clear... he as yet knows nothing and will accomplish nothing.” (Siebengestirn, p. 21.) “These are the two serpents sent by Juno (which is the metallic nature) which the strong Hercules (i.e., the wise man in his cradle) has to strangle, i.e., to overpower and kill, in order in the beginning of his work to have them rot, be destroyed and to bear.” (Flamel, p. 54.) Again and again the masters declare that one cannot attain to true progress except by means of the blacks, death and putrefaction.

In the “Clavis philosophiae et alchymiae Fluddanae,” of the year 1633, we read: “Know then that it is the duty of spiritual alchemy to mortify and to refine all obscuring prejudice as corruptible and vain, and so break down the tents of darkness and ignorance, so that that imperishable but still beclouded spirit may be free and grow and multiply in us through the help of the fiery spirit, full of grace, which God so kindly moistened, so as to increase it from a grain to a mountain. That is the true alchemy of which I am speaking, that which can multiply in me that rectangular stone, which is the cornerstone of my life and my soul, so that the dead in me shall be awakened anew, and arise from the old nature that had become corrupted in Adam, [296] as a new man who is new and living in Christ, and therefore in that rectangular stone....” To the “sacrifice” of the person introverting, Jung devotes an entire chapter in his Psychology of the Unconscious, Chapt. IV.

A brief résumé of it would show that by the sacrifice is meant the giving up of the mother, i.e., the disclaiming of all bonds and limitations that the soul has carried over from childhood into adulthood. The victory over the dragon is equivalent to B. Effects Of Introversion. 227 the sacrificing of the regressive (incestuous) tendency. After we have sought the mother through introversion we must escape from her, enriched by the treasure which we have gotten.

The sacrifice of a part of ourself (killing of the dragon, the father, etc.) is, as Jung points out, represented also in mythology by the shooting with sharp arrows at the symbol of the libido.

The symbol of the libido is generally a sun symbol. Now it is particularly noteworthy that the VIII key of the alchemist Basilius Valentinus (see figure 3, p. 199) shows arrows being shot, which are aimed at the [Symbol: sun] (this libido symbol par excellence) that is aptly used as a “target.” Death is clearly enough accentuated and correlated with the sinking of the corns of wheat into the earth. [John XII, 24, 25, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this [297] world shall keep it unto life eternal.] As this rises, so also will

the dying mystic rise. The grave crosses have the form [Symbol:

Fire] ([Symbol: Sulphur]); they show that the interred one is a certain sulphur, the impure sulphur, willfulness. The birds, from which we are to protect the grain, may in the end be the Siddhi;

they are, in the introversion form of the religious work, what would otherwise be merely “diversions” or “dissipations.” The mystical death is the death of egoism (in Hindu terminology ahamk ra). Jacob Boehme writes in his book of the true atonement, I, 19: “... Although I am not worthy, [Jesus] take me yet in thy death and let me only in thy death die my death; still strike thou me in my acknowledged selfishness to the ground and kill my selfishness by thy death....” In the Mysterium Magnum, XXXVI, 74, 75: “... We exalt not the outspoken word of the wisdom of God, but only the animal will to selfishness and egoism which is departed from God, which honors itself as a false God of its own and may not believe or trust God (as the Antichrist who has placed himself in God's stead); and we 228 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts teach on the contrary that the man of the Antichrist's image shall wholly die so that he may be born in Christ of a new life and will, which new will has power in the perfect word of nature with divine eyes to see all the miracles of God, both in nature and creature, in the perfect wisdom. For as dies the Antichrist in the soul, so rises Christ from the dead.” In the hermetic book, “Gloria Mundi,” it is related of Adam [298] that he would have been able, if he had not acted contrary to God, to live 2000 years in paradise and would then have been taken up into heaven; but he had drawn on himself death, sickness and calamity. Only through the grace of God was he given a partial knowledge of the powers of things, of herbs and remedies against manifold infirmities. “When, however, he could no longer maintain himself by the medicinal art [in paradise] he sent his son Seth forth to paradise for the tree of life, which he received, not physically, but spiritually. Finally he desired the oil of compassion, whereupon by the angels, at God's command to give the oil, the promise was given and thereupon the seed of the oil tree sent, which seed Seth planted on his return, after his father's death and on his father's grave, from which grew the wood of the holy cross, on which our Lord Jesus Christ, through his passion and death, freed us from death and all sins;

which Lord Christ in his holiest humanity has become the tree and the wood of life and has brought to us the fruit of the oil of compassion....” Adam is the undomesticated man; this ideal must die to the moral aspirant.



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