«***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HIDDEN SYMBOLISM OF ALCHEMY AND THE OCCULT ARTS*** Hidden Symbolism of ALCHEMY and the OCCULT ARTS (Formerly ...»
These typical groups of symbols that the mystic [I draw a certain distinction between the mystes and the mystic. The latter is a mystes who makes a system of what he has realized.] produces as a functional expression of his subjective transformation, can be thought of as an educational method applied to arouse the same reactions in other men. In the group of symbols are contained more or less clearly the already mentioned elementary types as they are common to all men; they strike the same chords in all men. Symbolism is for this very reason the most universal language that can be conceived. It is also the only language that is adapted to the various degrees of intensity as well as to the different levels of the intro-determination of living experience without requiring therefore a different means of expression;
for what it contains and works with are the elementary types themselves [or symbols which are as adequate as possible to  them] which, as we have seen, represent a permanent element in the stream of change. This series of symbols is quite as useful to the neophyte as to the one who is near to perfection;
every one will find in the symbols something that touches him closely; and what must be particularly emphasized is that the individual at every spiritual advance that he makes, will always find something new in the symbols already familiar to him, and therefore something to learn. To be sure, this new revelation Section III. The Royal Art. 285 is founded in himself; but there results for the uncritical mind (mythological level) the illusion that the symbols (e.g., those of the holy scripture) are endowed with a miraculous power which implies a divine revelation. [Cf. the concept of the origin of the symbol in my essay, Phant. u. Myth.] Because of a similar illusion, e.g., Jamblichus posits demons between gods and men, who make comprehensible to the latter the utterances of the gods; the demons, he thinks, are servants of the gods and execute their will. They make visible to men in works and words the invisible and inexpressible things of the gods; the formless they reveal in forms and they reveal in concepts what transcends all concepts. From the gods they receive all the good of which they are capable, partially or according to their nature, and share it again with the races that stand below them.
I said above, every one will find something appropriate to himself in the symbols, and I emphasized the great constancy of the types fast rooted in the unconscious, types which impart  to them a universal validity. The divine is revealed “only objectively different according to the disposition of the vessel into which it falls, to one one way, another to another. To the rich poetical genius it is revealed preeminently in the activity of his imagination; to the philosophical understanding as the scheme of a harmonious system. It sinks into the depths of the soul of the religious, and exalts the strong constructive will like a divine power. And so the divine is honored differently by each one.” (Ennemoser, Gesch. d. M., p. 109.) “The spiritual element of the inheritance handed down by our fathers works out vigorously in the once for all established style.... On the dark background of the soul stand, as it were, the magic symbols in definite types, and it requires but an inner or outer touch [E.g., by religious observances.] to make them kindle and become active.” (Ib., p. 274.) “The unconscious is common to all mankind in an infinitely greater degree than the content of the individual consciousness, for it is the condensation of the 286 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts historically average and oft-repeated.” (Jung, Jb. ps. F., III, pp.
169 ff.) Whoever allows the educative symbols to work upon him, whether he sees only darkly the ethical applications typified in them, or clearly perceives them, or completely realizes them in himself, in any case he will be able to enjoy a satisfying sense of purification for his earnest endeavor in an ethical direction.
The just mentioned dim perception (probably the most frequent case), does not exclude the existence of very clear ideas in  consciousness; the person in question generally considers his ideas, although they are only masks in front of the absolute ideal, as the ultimate sense of the symbol, thus accepting one degree of significance for the complete meaning. Every one approximates the ideal as he can; the absolute ideal through his ephemeral, but attainable ideal. The highest being speaks in the inexhaustible
If above I derived the instructive group of symbols from a mystic, that is not to say that it must be precisely so. I brought out this case among possible cases only for the reason that the mystic  is the one who carries out most strenuously the ethical work of purification, and under such conditions as are most favorable to a suggestive group of symbols, and in particular those rich in characteristic types. Bear in mind the founders of religion. (They do not always have to be individuals—schools, myths.) There are, however, others than the religiously inspired natures, who are preëminently endowed to produce suggestive symbol groups with anagogic value; the artists. I suspect that it would prove that the purifying (cathartic) action of a work of art is the greater the more strongly the anagogic symbolism (the groups of types that carry it) is developed, or in other words, the more they express a tendency to a broadening of the personality. This tendency, to which belong the motives of the denial of the selfish will (father figure) of the love that is connected with sacrifice (incest motive, regeneration) of the devotion to an ideal (longing for death), etc., is manifested in the artist as also in the devout observer of the work of art in his very devotion to it. Being lost in a work of art appears to me essentially related both to introversion and to the unio mystica.
I have already spoken of the creations of the myth forming imagination and its anagogic import. In alchemy, to which I wish now to return, the mythical and the individual images meet in the most vivid way, without destroying each other.
In regard to the high ethical aspirations of alchemy, we  understand that as a mystic art it preserves those attributes of a royal art which it seems to have had at first merely as gold making and magic. In fact what art may more justly be called 288 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts royal than that of the perfection of mankind, that art which turns the dependent into the independent, the slave into a master?
The freeing of the will in the mystic (and in every ethical) process has already, I believe, been commented on enough to be comprehensible. And the power of rule that has been extolled as a magical effect of the Philosopher's Stone lies in the harmonizing of the individual will with that of the world or with God's will.
In the new birth—so remarks Jane Leade casually—we acquire a magic power; this occurs “through faith, that is, through the harmony of our will with the divine will. For faith puts the world in our power, inasmuch as the harmony of our will with the divine has the result of making everything ours or obedient to us. The will of the soul, when it accords wholly with the divine, is no longer a naked will lacking its raiment, power, but brings with it an invincible omnipotence.” To-day, too, there is a royal art. Freemasonry bears this name.
Not only the name but its ethical ideal connects it with the spirit of the old alchemy. This statement will probably be contradicted and meet the same denial as did once the ideas of Kernning [J.
Krebs], although I think I am on different ground from that of this poetic but, in my eyes, all too uncritical author. Keep in mind the historical treatment mentioned in Part I, Section 4, and  furthermore do not forget the psychological basis of our present modes of viewing things.
[If I wished to compare the ethical aims of both in general terms, I should run the risk of unduly expatiating on what is easily understood. Robert Fischer describes freemasonry as a society of men who have set themselves the severe task of a wise life and labor as the most difficult task, of self-knowledge, selfmastery and self-improvement,—tasks that are not finished in this life but only through death prepare us for the stage where the true consummation begins. These beautiful and straightforward words could just as well stand in an alchemistic discussion on the terrestrial and celestial. But this will suffice.] Section III. The Royal Art. 289 And now permit me to present the following portrayals by Jane Leade [English mystic of the 17th century. She belonged to the philadelphian society founded by Pordage.] which I reproduce here with a few words of comment, and take them as an illustration of the beautiful spiritual union of the serious hermetic with the new royal art. The reader can draw his own conclusions. The passages are taken from Leade's “GartenBrunn” (L. G. B.). References to Wirth are to the “Symbolisme Hermétique” (W. S. H.) of this modern author.
This mystic who is sunk in deep meditation on the noble Stone of divine Wisdom, has a vision of Sophia (Wisdom) at which she is startled. “Soon came the voice and said: Behold I am God's everlasting handmaid of wisdom, whom thou hast sought. I am  now here to unseal for thee the treasures of the deepest wisdom of God, and to be to thee even that which Rebecca was to her son Jacob, namely, a true, natural mother. For from my body and womb shalt thou be born, conceived and reborn.” (L. G. B., I, p.
14.) Leade is much rejoiced that the “morning star from on high” has sought her, and secludes herself for the following days to await further developments. She has still more visions of the crowned queen of heaven and was asked whether she had the desire to be taken up into the celestial company. She proves herself of constantly devoted will and from this time wisdom speaks to her as an inner illumination. (L. G. B., I, p. 15 ff.) [Retirement is a precondition of introversion and of withdrawal into oneself. The uninitiated who is to be admitted is, to use the language of alchemy, the subjectum, in whom the process of purification is to be perfected. The alchemists put the subjectum into a narrow vessel so as to be hermetically sealed from the outer world. There it is subjected to putrefaction as in a grave.
Introversion leads into the depths of one's very heart. “Where were you formed?” “In my heart [or inner man].” “Where after this?” “In the Way to the Lodge.” “What determined you...?” 290 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts “My own free and unconstrained will.” The uninitiated are recommended to take counsel seriously with regard to their important resolution. “Why are you...?” “Because I was in  darkness and desired light.” The death symbol in the sch. K. is later to be considered. I can naturally go into a few only of the analogies. The informed reader will largely increase the number of parallels very easily.] Jane Leade seeks in the spirit for the key that can open the entrance into the great secret that lies deep hidden within her. Her effort to reach the holy city is great but at first ineffectual. [One is not admitted without further effort.] She wanders around the city and finds no entrance. [Way to the Lodge—“Why have they not led you the nearest way to the Lodge?” “In order to acquaint me with the difficulties and troubles that one must first overcome before one finds the way of virtue.”] She is apprehensive that she must, lacking the wonderful key, now grope all her days in darkness... never find the gate. “While I, now overpowered with fear and horror at all this, was plunged [Symbols and processes in the sch. K. Roll of the terrible Br. It is probably well founded psychologically, a fact that I should like to emphasize in opposition to Fischer, Kat. Erl., I, on Question 7.] into a deep silence and stillness, the word of wisdom itself was revealed to me and said: ‘O deeply searching spirit, be not surprised that you have not realized your hopes for so long a time. So far you have been with many others caught in a great error, yet as you know and are sorry for your error, I will apprize you what sort of a key it must be.... And although this wonderful Key of Wisdom is a free gift, it will yet come to be of high value to you, O searching  spirit, when once you obtain it.’ ” Nevertheless wisdom goes about and looks for those who deserve it, [Nothing being made of nothing, the point of departure of the philosophic work is the finding and choice of the subject. The material to work upon, say the alchemists, is quite common and is met with everywhere.
It is necessary only to know how to distinguish it, and that is Section III. The Royal Art. 291 where all the difficulty lies. We continually experience it in masonry, for we often initiate the profane, whom we should have rejected had we been sufficiently clear sighted. Not all material is good to make a mercury. The work can succeed only if we succeed in finding a suitable subject; so masonry makes many inquiries before admitting a candidate to the tests. (W. S. H., p.
87.)] She does this so as to write herself on the inner walls of their hearts and in each and every one meet their thoughts which wait upon her laws and counsel, [Obedience of apprentices.
The laws of wisdom are meant.] and brings a kingdom with it which will be well worth sacrificing everything for. [Laying aside of all metal. The newly admitted brother is “through his unclothing” (which probably belongs here) to represent mankind symbolically, as he comes from the hand of nature, and to remind us that the freemason, in order to be continuously mindful of the fulfillment of his duty must be able to rid himself of all fortuitous externalities. See Note H at end.] But the greatest and most distinguished master work, says wisdom, consists alone in your keeping your spirit disciplined and learned, and making it  a skilled worker or artist, to give it knowledge of what material, as well as in what number, weight and measure [Surveying, geometry.] to make this pure key, which [material] is the bright pure divinity in the number three, the mighty in truth.... It is distinguished as a surpassingly mighty glory and lordliness which sits in a circle of heaven within the hearts of men. [The connection of circle (doubly significant) and heart is interesting.