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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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[317] “A flowing Light of my Godhead” (“Ein vliessend Lieht miner Gotheit”), and with adding Jane Leade's words: “If any one asks what is the magic power [sought by the reborn] I answer, ‘It is to be compared to a wonderfully powerful inspiration to the soul, to a blood, coloring and penetrating and transmuting the inner life, a concentrating and essentially creative light and fire flame.’ ” The Omphalopsychites or Hesychiasts, those monks who dwelt in the Middle Ages on Mount Athos, were given the following instructions by their Abbot Simeon: “Sitting alone in private, note and do what I say. Close thy doors and raise thy spirit from vain and temporal things. Then rest thy beard on the breast and direct the gaze with all thy soul on the middle of the body at the navel. [See Note G.] Contract the air passages so as not to breathe too easily. Endeavor inwardly to find the location of the heart, where all psychic powers reside. At first thou wilt find darkness and inflexible density. When, however, thou perseverest day and night, thou wilt, wonderful to relate, enjoy inexpressible rapture. For then the spirit sees what it never has recognized; it sees the air between the heart and itself radiantly beaming.” This light, the hermits declare, is the light of God that was visible to the young men on Tabor.

Yoga-Sutra (Patanyali, I, 36) says: “Or that sorrowless condition of mind, full of light (would conduce to samadhi).” And the commentator Manilal Nabubhai Dvivedi remarks upon this: “The light here referred to is the light of pure sattva.

[318] When the mind is deeply absorbed in that quality, then, indeed, does this condition of light which is free from all pain follow.

Vachaspatimisra remarks that in the heart there is a lotus-like form having eight petals and with its face turned downward. One should raise this up by rechaka (exhalation of the breath) and then C. Regeneration. 243 meditate upon it, locating therein the four parts of the pranava, viz., a, u, m, and the point in their several meanings. When the mind thus meditating falls in the way of the susumna, it sees a perfect calm light like that of the moor of the sun, resembling the calm ocean of milk. This is the jyotis, light, which is the sure sign of complete sattva. Some such practice is here meant....” The similarity to the instruction of the Abbot Simeon is evident.

The light and sun symbolism in alchemistic writings is everywhere used; yet gold also = sun, indeed the same sign [Symbol: Gold] serves for both. I should like to call attention incidentally to a beautiful use of the sun symbol in “Amor Proximi,” which differs slightly from the more restricted gold symbolism. On p. 32 ff. we read: “See Christ is not outside of us, but he is intimately within us all, but locked up, and in order that he may unlock that which is locked up in us, did he once become outwardly visible, as a man such as we are, the hard sin enclosure excepted, and of this the [Symbol: Gold] in this world is the true copy, which quickly convinced the heathens from the beginning of the world that God must become man even as the light of [319] nature has become a body in the [Symbol: Gold]. Now the [Symbol: Gold] is not alone in the firmament outside of all other creatures, but it is much more in the center of all creatures but shut up, but the external [Symbol: Gold] is as a figure of Christ, in that it unlocks in us the enclosed [Symbol: Gold], as its image and substance, just as Christ does, through his becoming man, also unlock in us the image of God. For were this not so, then

the sphere of the earth would approach in vain to the [Symbol:

Gold] in order to derive its power from it, and nothing at all would grow from the accursed [Symbol: earth]. [The symbol [Symbol: earth] means earth.] So the [Symbol: earth] shows us that inasmuch as it approaches near to the [Symbol: Gold] it is unlocked, so we, too, approaching Christ, shall attain again the image of God; then at the end of time this [Symbol: earth] will be translated into the point of the sun [in Solis punctum] [Cf. what 244 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts has been said about the point in the [Symbol: Gold].];” and still farther on: “Ye see that the [Symbol: earth] turns to the sun, but the reason ye know not; if the earth had not in the creation gone out of the Solis punctum, it could not have turned and yearned according to its magnetic manner, so this turning around shows us that the world was once renewed, and in its beginning, as [Symbol: Gold] is punctum; it desires to return, and its rest will be alone in that; therefore the soul of man is also similarly gone out of the eternally divine sun, towards which it also yearns....” Our parable, to which I should like now to revert, appears in a new light. It would be a waste of time to lead the reader once more through all the adventures of the wanderer. He again, [320] without difficulty, will find all the aforesaid elements in the parable, and will readily recognize the introversion and rebirth. I therefore pick out for further consideration only a few particular motives of the parable or alchemy which seem to me to require special elucidation.

We should not forget the singular fact that after the introversion, at the beginning of the work of rebirth, a deluge occurs. This flood takes place not merely in the alchemistic process (when the bodies undergo putrefaction in the vessel and become black), but we see the mythic deluges coming with unmistakable regularity at the same time, i.e., after the killing of the original being (separation of the primal parents, etc.), and before the new creation of the world by the son of God. Stucken (SAM., p. 123): “We see corroborated... what I have already emphasized, that on the appearance of the flood catastrophe the creation of the world is not yet finished. Even before the catastrophe there was indeed an earth and life on it, but only after the flood, begins the forming of the present Cosmos. Thus it is in the germanic Ymir-saga, and in the Babylonian Tiamat-saga, in the Egyptian and likewise in the Iranian.” What may the flood be in the psychological sense. Dreams and poetry tell us, in that they figure the passions in the image of a storm-tossed sea. After the C. Regeneration. 245 introversion, whose perils have already been mentioned, there is always an outbreak of the passions. Not without consequences is the Stone of the Deeps elevated, which locks the prison [321] of the subterranean powers. (Cf. Book of Enoch, X, 5, and passim.) The point is to seize the wildly rushing spirits and to get possession of their powers without injury. The entire inundation must, in the philosophical vessel, be absorbed by the bodies that have turned black, and then it works on them for the purpose of new creation, fructifying them like the floods of water upon the earth. It does no damage to the materia only then, when it is actually black (stage of victory). If this happens, it (the materia) is in contrast to the waters raging over it, like an ocean which suffers no alteration by the influx of waters. “Like an ocean that continually fills itself and yet does not overflow its boundaries, even with the inflowing waters, so the man acquires calm, into whom all desires flow in similar wise, and not he who wantonly indulges his desire.” (Bhag. Gita, II, 70. Latin: translated by Schlegel: German [Schroeder].) “Wer wie das Meer in das die Wasser strömen Das sich anfüllet und doch ruhig dasteht Wer so in sich die Wünsche lässt verschwinden, Der findet Ruhe—nicht wer ihnen nachgibt.” Above I have compared the lion of the parable to the Sphinx of Œdipus, and on the other hand, it appears from later deliberation that it (the lion) must be the retrogressive element in men, which is to be sacrificed in the work of purification. Now I find several remarks of Jung (Psychology of the Unconscious) that mediate [322] very well between both ideas. Even if I do not care to go so far as to see in the animal only the sexual impelling powers, but prefer to regard it rather as the titanic part of our impulses, I find the conception of the author very fortunate. The Sphinx, that double being, symbolizes the double natured man, to whom 246 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts his bestiality still clings. Indeed it is to be taken exactly as a functional representation of the development of reason out of the impulses (human head and shoulders growing out of an animal body).





The homunculus motive would likewise have to be regarded in a new light. I have said that the mystic was his own father;

he creates a new man (himself) out of himself with a merely symbolic mother, therefore with peculiar self-mastery, without the coöperation of any parents. That means the same thing as the artificial creation of a man. We recognize therefore the anagogic significance of the homunculus, the idea of which we found closely interwoven with alchemy in general. This connection also has not escaped Jung, though he takes it one-sidedly and draws a too far-reaching conclusion. He points to the vision of Zosimos, where, in the hollow of the altar he finds boiling water and men in it, and remarks that this vision reveals the original sense of alchemy, an original impregnation magic, i.e., a way in which children could be made without a mother. I must observe that the hermetic attempt to get back to Adam's condition has some of the homunculus phantasy in it. Adam was regarded as [323] androgyne, a being at once man and woman, but sufficient in himself alone for impregnation and procreation. Welling says in his Opus mago-cabbalisticum, “This man Adam was created, as the scripture says, i.e., of the male and female sex, not two different bodies but one in its essence and two in its potentiality, for he was the earth Adamah, the red and white [Symbol: Sulfur] the spiritual [Symbol: Gold] and [Symbol: Silver], the male and female seed, the dust of the Adamah from Schamajim, and therefore had the power to multiply himself magically (just as he was celestial) which could not indeed have been otherwise, unless the essential masculinity and femininity were dissociated.” I am reminded in this connection that Mercury is also bisexual;

the “materia” must be brought into the androgynic state “rebis.” The idea of hermaphroditism plays a well known, important part C. Regeneration. 247 in mythology also.

***** We have explained why phantasy creations carry two meanings, the psychoanalytic and the anagogic, apparently fundamentally different, even contradictory, and yet, on account of their completeness, undeniable. We have found that the two meanings correspond to two aspects or two evolutionary phases of a psychic inventory of powers, which are attached as a unity to symbolic types, because an intro-determination can take place in connection with the sublimation of the impulses.

When we formulated the problem of the multiple interpretation, we were struck with the fact that besides the two meanings that [324] were nominally antipodal in ethical relations, there was a third ethically indifferent, namely, the natural scientific. Apart from the fact that I have not yet exhausted the anagogic contents of our material and so must add a number of things in the following sections, I am confronted with the task of elucidating the position of the nature myth portion. That will necessarily be done briefly.

In the case of alchemy the natural scientific content is chemistry (in some degree connected with physics and cosmology), a fact hardly requiring proof. The alchemistic chemistry was not, to be sure, scientific in the strict modern sense. In comparison with our modern attitudes it had so much mythical blood in it that I could call it a mythologically apperceiving science, wherein I go a little beyond the very clearly developed conception of Wilhelm Wundt (Volkerps. Myth. u.

Rel.) regarding mythological apperception, from a desire for a more rigid formulation, but without losing the peculiar concept of the mythical or giving it the extension it has acquired with G. F. Lipps. Alchemy's myth-like point of view and manner of thinking is paralleled by the fact that it was dominated by symbolic representation and the peculiarities that go with it. [The concept of the symbol is here to be taken, of course, in the wider sense, as in my papers on Symbolbildung (Jb. ps. F., II-IV).] 248 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts The choice of a symbol is strongly influenced by what strongly impresses the mind, what moves the soul, whether joyful or painful, what is of vital interest, in short, whatever [325] touches us nearly, whether consciously or unconsciously. This influence is shown even in the commonplace instances, where the professional or the amateur is betrayed by the manner of apperceiving one and the same object. Thus the landscape painter sees in a lake a fine subject, the angler an opportunity to fish, the business man a chance to establish a sanitarium or a steamboat line, the yachtsman a place for his pleasure trips, the heat tormented person a chance for a bath, and the suicide, death. In the symbolic conception of an object, moreover (which is much more dependent on the unconscious or uncontrolled stimulation of the phantasy that shapes the symbol), the choice from among the many possibilities can surely not fall upon such images as are unsympathetic or uninteresting to the mind. Even if we consciously make comparisons we think of an example mostly from a favorite and familiar sphere; when something “occurs” to us there is already evidenced some part of an unconscious complex. This will become elaborated in the degree that the phantasy is given free play.



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