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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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Whoever finds in it the Brahma as the kernel, Resolves himself in it as a goal, and is freed from birth.” Cf. also Deussen, Syst. d. Ved., p. 232, and Sutr. d. Ved., pp. 541 ff.: “Frequently we are told of the connection of the highest with the individual soul, and then again of a splitting up 270 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts [conditioned by them] inside the Brahma, by virtue of which their two parts are mutually opposed and limited. Both of these things happen, however, only from the standpoint of the distinctions [355] [upadhi].... There were two which were superficial (in that they formed an unjustified opposition) and the third essential to Sol and Luna only, not to the Stone; for nature would produce these two out of it by artificial decoction.... [These distinctions depend on ignorance, after throwing off which the individual is one with the highest. The connection of the individual soul with Brahman is in truth its entering into its own self, and the division in Brahma is as unreal as that between space in general and space within the body.] But when the two perfect bodies are dissolved [prepared for the mystical work] they are transmuted with the mercury that dissolved them, and then there is no more repugnancy in it; then there is no longer a distinction between superficial and essential. And this is that one matter of the stone, that one thing which is the subject of all wonders. When thou art come to this then shalt thou no more discern a distinction between the Dissolver [God] and the dissolved [soul]... and the color of the ripe sulphur [the divine nature] inseparably united to it will tinge your water [soul].” Irenæus says that the two bodies, Sol and Luna, are compared by the alchemists to two mountains, first because they are found in mountains, and second by way of opposition: “For where mountains are highest above ground, there they lie deepest underground,” and he adds: “The name is not of so much consequence, take the body which is gold [i.e., here the consummate man] and throw it into mercury, such a [356] mercury as is bottomless [infinite], that is, whose center it can never find but by discovering its own.” (H. A., 283 ff.) In reference to these and similar expressions of the alchemists, Hitchcock rightly calls our attention to Plotinus, who writes, for example (Enn., VI, 9, 10): “We must comprehend God with our whole being, so that we no longer have in us a single part that is not dependent upon God. Then we may see him and ourselves as Section II. The Goal Of The Work. 271 it beseems us to see, in radiant beams, filled with spiritual light, or rather as pure light itself [notice this fullness of light] without weight, imponderable, become God or rather being God. Our life's flame is then kindled; but if we sink down into the world of sense, it is as if extinguished.... Whoever has thus seen himself will, then, when he looks, see himself as one who has become unified, or rather he will be united to himself as such a one and feel himself as such. Possibly one should not in this case speak of seeing. But as regards the seen, if we can indeed distinguish the seeing and the seen, and not rather have to describe both as one, which is, to be sure, a bold statement, then the seeing really does not see in this condition, nor does he differentiate two things, nor has he the idea of two things. He is, as it were, another; he ceases to be himself, he belongs no longer to himself; arriving there, he has ascended unto God and has become one with him, as a center that coincides with another center; the two coinciding things are here one, and only two when they are separated. In [357] this sense we speak of the soul's being another than God.” I recall also the passage in Amor Proximi where it is said that the earth will again be placed in Solis punctum. The center of the sun [God] is to be seen in the symbol [Symbol: Gold]. We now understand the mystical difference between the hieroglyphs [Symbol: Gold] and [Symbol: Alum], between gold and alum.

In order to express in the mercury symbol [Symbol: Mercury] the accomplished union (represented by +) of [Symbol: Gold] and [Symbol: Silver], which takes place through the newly discovered central point, the symbol [Symbol: Mercury] is also used.

I have mentioned the vedantic teachings, whose agreement with alchemy has also been noticed by Hitchcock. It takes emphatically the point of view of the “non-existence of a second.” Multiplicity is appearance; the difference between the individual soul and the All Soul depends upon an error which we can overcome. The goal of salvation is the ascent into the universal 272 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts spirit Brahma (in the nirvana of the Buddhists there is the same thought). Whoever has entered into the highest spirit, there is no

longer any “other” for him. Brhadaranyaka-Upanishad, IV, 3:

(23) “If he does not then [The man in the deep sleep (susupti),] see, he is yet seeing although he sees not, for there is no interruption of vision for the seeing, because he is imperishable;

but there is no second beside him, no other different from him that he could see. (24.) If he does not smell, he is yet smelling although he smells not, for there is for the smelling [person] no [358] interruption of smelling because he is imperishable; but there is no second thing beside him, no other thing different from him that he could smell.... (32.) He stands like water [i.e., so pure] seer alone and without a second... he whose world is Brahm.





This is his highest goal, this is his highest fortune, this is his highest world, this is his highest joy; through a minute particle of only this joy the other creatures have their life.” If I compare the hermetic teachings on the one hand with the vedanta, and on the other with the Samkhya-Yoga, I do not lose sight of the fundamental antagonism of both—Vedanta is monistic, Samkhya is dualistic—but in appreciation of the doctrine of salvation which is common to both. That the mystic finds the same germ in both systems is shown by the BhagavadGita. For him the theoretical difference is trivial, whether the materia is dissolved as mere illusion, when he has attained his mystic goal, or whether, as an eternal substance, it is as something overcome, simply withdrawn, never more to be seen. According to the Samkhya doctrine, too, the saved soul enters into its own being, and every connection with objects of knowledge ceases.

In Yogavasistha it is written: “So serene as would the light appear if all that is illumined, i.e., space, earth, ether, did not exist, such is the isolated state of the seer, of the pure self, when the threefold world, you and I, in brief, all that is visible, is gone.

As the state of a mirror is, in which no reflection falls, neither of [359] statues nor of anything else—only representing in itself the being Section II. The Goal Of The Work. 273 [of the mirror]—such is the isolation of the seer, who remains without seeing, after the jumble of phenomena, I, you, the world, etc., has vanished.” (Garbe, Samkhya-Phil., p. 326.) In the materia (prakri) of the Samkhya system reside the three qualities or constituents already familiar to us, Rajas, Tamas, and Sattva. Whoever unmasks these as the play of qualities, raises himself above the world impulses. For him, as he is freed from antagonisms, the play ceases. When a soul is satiated with the activity of matter and turns away from it with disdain, then matter ceases its activity for this soul with the thought, “I am discovered.” It has performed what it was destined to perform, and withdraws from the soul that has attained the highest goal, as a dancing girl stops dancing when she has performed her task and the spectators have enough. But in one respect matter is unlike the dancing girl or actress; for while they repeat their performance at request, matter “is tenderly disposed like a woman of good family,” who, if she is seen by a man, modestly does not display herself again to his view. This last simile is facilitated in the original texts by the fact that the Sanskrit for soul and man has the same phonetic notation (pums, purusa). (Garbe, l. c., pp. 165 ff.) In comparing the common mystic content of Vedanta and Samkhya-Yoga with alchemy, I avoid the difficulty involved in establishing a detailed concordance of the hermetic philosophy [360] with one or another system. An inquiry into this topic would result differently according to which hermetic authors we should particularly consider.

It is probably worthy of notice that the Yoga-Mystics, like the alchemists, are acquainted with the idea of the union of the sun and the moon. Two breath or life currents are to be united, one of which corresponds to the sun, the other to the moon. The expression Hathayoga (where hatha = mighty effort. Cf. Garbe, Samkhya and Yoga, p. 43) will also be interpreted so that Ha = sun, tha = moon, their union = the yoga leading to salvation. (Cf.

274 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts Hatha-Yoga-Prad., p. 1.) The union of two things, the sun with the moon, the soul with God, the seer with the seen, etc., is also taught by the image of the connection of man and woman. That is the mystic marriage (Hieros gamos), a universally widespread symbol of quite supreme importance. In alchemy the last process, i.e., according to the viewpoint of representation, the tincturing or the unification, is quite frequently represented in the guise of a marriage—sometimes of a king and a queen. We cannot interchange this final process with the initial one of introversion, which (as a seeking for the uterus for the purpose of a rebirth) is likewise readily conceived of as a sexual union. If the symbol of coitus was conceivable there, so here, too, the same symbol is appropriate for the representation of the definite union with the object longed for.

[361] It is quite suggestive to associate the anagogic idea of the Unio mystica, precisely on account of the erotic allegory, with the primal motive of sexual union (with the mother) instead of with the wish to die, as I have done at another place. It may be that the primal erotic power supplies something for the accomplishment of this last purpose; it may be that all powers must coöperate. If I now still abide by my original exposition, this happens because it appears to me that the symbolism emphasizes the going over of the one into the other more than the attainment of the sexual goal; and even in the cases where the unio mystica is described as a sexual union. We should not forget that the sexual gratification is to be regarded also as a kind of annihilation. It is a condition of intoxication and of oblivion or perishing. It is this side of the sexual procedure that the symbolism of the unio mystica particularly emphasizes.

Brhadaranyaka-Upanisad, IV, 3, 21: “... For even as one embraced by a beloved woman has no consciousness of what is within or without, so the spirit, embraced by the most percipient self (prajena almana, i.e., the Brahm), has no knowledge of that Section II. The Goal Of The Work. 275 which is external or internal. That is its form of existence, in which it is characterized by stilled desire, even its own desire is without desire and separated from sorrow.” This passage treats of the deep sleep (susupti) which is regarded as a passing union with the highest spirit, and so, as essentially the same as the definitive unificatio. Sleep is the brother of death. Susupti is, [362] furthermore, conceived only as a preliminary; a German mystic would call it a foretaste of the definitive ascent into Brahm.

In the parable the unio mystica appears twice represented, once in that the king and queen are represented as the bridal couple, and the second time when the king, i.e., God, takes the wanderer up into his kingdom.

The attainment of an inner harmony, of a serene peace, is what, as it seems to me, is most clearly brought out as the characteristic of the final unificatio—not merely by the Hindus or Neoplatonists, but also by the Christian mystics and by the alchemists.

Artephius is quoted by H. A., p. 86, as follows: “... This water [water of life] causes the dead body to vegetate, increase and spring forth, and to rise from death to life by being dissolved first, and then sublimed. And in doing this the body is converted into a spirit, and the spirit afterwards into a body; and then is effected the amity, the peace, the concord and the union of the contraries.” Similarly Ripley (H. A., p. 245): “This is the highest perfection to which any sublunary body can be brought, by which we know that God is one, for God is perfection; to which, whenever any creature arrives in its kind [according to its nature], it rejoiceth in unity, in which there is no division nor alterity, but peace and rest without contention.” The final character of the completed philosopher's stone makes it conceivable, that, as the hermetic masters say, it is made only [363] once by a man and then not again. The Stone is an absolutely imperishable Good; but if it should be lost it is surely not the 276 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts right stone.

I have now to offer some conjectures regarding further

interpretations of the two and the three principles [Symbol:

Gold] and [Symbol: Silver], namely [Symbol: Sulfur] [Symbol:

Mercury] [Symbol: Salt]. We are aware of a general difference. I add now first the remark of Hitchcock that the “two” things are to be regarded as an antithesis: natura naturans and

natura naturata. We might intellectually conceive the [Symbol:

Mercury] (mercury) given by many writers at the beginning of the work as a double one, on the one hand as nature and on the other as our world picture. We cause it to work on our [Symbol: Sulphur] (sulphur), i.e., on our affectivity by which the [Symbol: Sulphur] is purified and dissolved, for it is compelled to adapt itself to the requirements of the world laws. But by this means a new world picture is produced, for the former had been influenced by the unclarified [Symbol: Sulphur]; our affective life limits our intellectual. The new world picture or the

newly gained [Symbol: Mercury] we combine with our [Symbol:



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