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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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Gold] and the female moon [Symbol: Moon]; its light is thus of a bisexual nature, androgynous or hermaphrodite. The Rebis corresponds otherwise to the matter prepared by the final work, otherwise called the journeyman who has been made worthy to be raised to the mastery.” (W. S. H., p.99.)] But to return to Jane Leade's magical journey. “Hereupon I was moved (because I well knew and was certain that this heavenly stone already had its birth and growth in me) [Rebirth = the cubical stone's change from potentiality to actuality] with great frankness to ask whether my external furnace [her own body] would keep so long, and not perish [die] before the stone would have attained its perfection. Whereupon this dear saint [John] said to me in answer: Worry and trouble not yourself about this but be only patient in hope; for the true philosophic tree is grown and in a fair way to produce ripe fruit.” (L. G. B., I, pp. 44 ff.) The preparation of the stone is now described by John according to the well known outlines. For “said Wisdom and the apostle John to me: Henceforth you shall be brought to the old worthy heroes of the faith who have [The masters too.] effected projection with the stone [= the work of transmutation]. And [401] after I was brought there I saw the patriarchs or arch fathers and all the great philosophers, who had been taught by God himself both in the earlier and in the later times. After that I was led into a darkness and gloom, which was of itself changed by a magic power into a clear silver light.” (L. G. B., I, p. 46.) Several other allegories follow for the changing activity, as described already (L. G. B., I, p. 41). John explains that all the wonders were accomplished with the stone of wisdom and that whoever Section III. The Royal Art. 305 has worked out this stone in himself is marked as one sealed [Sigillum, Hermetes, Sealing with the Trowel, mark of salvation, Mark Mason.] of God with the power from above.

A further communication of the preceding vision [sc. Magic Journey] gives the following additional information: “The Word came to me and said: The love bond between God and thee must not be loosened but tightly knotted. Meanwhile the spirit is the only eternal substance and property in which thou must labor and toil. That it may then cling to you so fast and strongly that it may draw thee quite closely to it and may establish thee within the circle of the immeasurable love; from which enmity is sundered, and the curse of the elements is separated and wholly taken away. O go in, go, I say, into it, for this is the infinite space, that thou hast seen, and which is to be found inside the third door. [Does this need any explanation?] This invisible love bond will perfect thee through the first gate, which is so narrow [402] and low, and therefore also through the other two gates; in case that thou wilt yield everything in thee completely in all its length and breadth so that it may be able quickly to raise thee. For, dear one, what is to return thee so mightily to the desired enjoyment of all abundance and good as the love of God? Therefore be strong and courageous in love, in going through these divers gates, and fear not any attack of the adversary till thou hast entered this hallowed country and art wedded therein to thy beloved.”

A complaint that was made of Wisdom by her pilgrim:

“Meanwhile as I lay in my deep struggle, came there a spirit of prayer down, who made an earnest supplication and unutterable sighing, rise towards heaven, [The lamentation at the grave of the Master.] which as I felt most clearly, penetrated and broke through the gate of the eternal profound, so that my spirit had an entrance to the secret chamber of pure godhead, wherein I had audience and complete freedom to pour out my lamentations and show my wounds and tell who had pierced me. For each and every hand was against me, let fly their stinging arrows at me, 306 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts and burdened and oppressed still more that which hung already, dropping blood, upon the cross, and cried and said, Crucify, crucify her, make her really feel death in the dying.... I was in violent birth travail. All woes and onsets, however, made a greater opening for the birth of life, and gave me an entrance into the holy place, wherein first I heard the eternal tones. And [403] then after this, as I gained the strength to be in a pleasant quiet, I was in a clear water, [Tears.], in which no mud nor any refuse arose; also no implement was lifted to any work there, nor was any noise nor uproar heard.” [Just as in the building of Solomon's temple.] (L. G. B., I, p. 48.) Now Leade hears the comforting voice of the “Bridegroom” (the unio mystica) which brings to her view the perfection she has striven for, and commands her to touch no unclean spirits of this world. [Gloves.] Only what is detached from sin may come

near him. The bridegroom is answered by Leade's soul-spirit:

“Lord, how can this be done? For although I have had a great longing towards this ministration [the holy service] that I might be ever near thee, the spirit of this world [See previous.] has made claim to this shell or body of mine, and says that I have not yet stepped out the bounds and sphere of his dominion. The external man is encompassed by hunger and thirst, heat and cold [antitheses of the Hindu philosophy], which are wont to entangle his external senses in such things as are external, in such a way that no one can live in such pure abstraction and seclusion, until he is relieved of and freed from all care for the external body. This is what I bewailed with tears, and expressly asked God whether it was not possible for the eternal mind and spirit to supply all necessaries for the bodily part without aid of the spirit of reason, who is king in that realm where malediction rules?” [In other words, whether it was not possible in the living life to be released from contradiction (as it is called in the [404] Bhagavad-Gita), to quite tear away the bonds of animal sensuous being, and definitively allow the eternal principles to be active.





Section III. The Royal Art. 307 The question is whether the terrestrial stone is, in its complete perfection, on the whole possible, whether the ethical ideal in absolute purity can be pragmatically realized.] “Whereupon after a short blocking and stilling of my external senses, I received this answer [of the Bridegroom]; that this could not be until a complete death of the body of sin was suffered, showing me that which is written in the 6th verse of the seventh chapter of Romans, that after that was perished and dead, wherein we were held, we should serve God in newness of spirit.” (L. G.

B., I, pp. 50 ff.) [Here we have then the requirement to become wholly dead to the realm of sin, in order to be able to rise fully to the ethical ideal.

The question whether this is possible in life remains open, to be sure. In symbolism this mystical death and the union with the highest spirit was represented symbolically in the highest degree of freemasonry. The representative of the Highest is the Master degree of the M. v. St. and he fills the dead, as it were, with his life, as the raising takes place (H in H, F against F, K against K, etc.), like the reviving of the child by Elijah (I Kings XVIII, 21).

As for the necessary decay of the body before the raising (“The skin leaves,” etc.) let us quote the passage, L. G. B., I, pp. 271 ff.: [the divine word speaks] “Know... that I have not left thee without a potent and rich talent which lies in thine own keeping, [405] although deep hidden and covered with a threefold covering (Exod., XXXIX 34, Num. IV, 5, 6), which must be removed before thou canst see this costly garment. The first covering is the coarse dark appearance of this earthly realm... the second is the fast-binding [directed upon the mundane] reason... the third is the baser natural senses.... Provided that thou thoroughly determine with the firm resolution to break through these three obstacles, thou wilt come to the golden mass.... While it is given to ye then to know where the treasure really lies [Seeking out of the grave. The three murderers, who have hidden the corpse, are these very ‘three obstacles.’] and you have my spirit on this, 308 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts which will not alone seek for it but will with the hand of its strength strongly coöperate with you; [To revive the mystical dead.] so resolve as united in the spirit... to break through that and to break it up, which lies as a covering over this princely being.... Pray and do not only wait [no idle mysticism] but struggle and work until you have released, set free and liberated this power hidden in a prison; which may be exalted upon the throne of empire, since in truth my spirit as well as yours has hitherto not been displaced from its kingdom except by force and unrighteousness.” [With reference to the raising (cf. L. G. B., III, pp. 87, 91); in that place three degrees of mystical development are described in the similitude of three altars. Under the last altar, which is built of quadrangular stones, in which one can see his [406] own face as in mirrors, lies the life trampled to death, which will again be wakened.] “Knowest thou not, I was asked, that the law of sin has the mastery as long as it [the body with its selfish tendencies] lives?

So that the spirit clearly bore witness and gave me to understand that nothing could make me worthy of this marriage with the Lamb [unio mystica] except an absolute death, since he wedded only the maidenly spirit, to be one flesh with him, [H in H, F against F, etc.] and by so doing changed it into his own pure manhood. [Humanity.] And this is the generation or birth to an actively self-sufficient being, which rises out of the old one.

For just as the grain of wheat perishes or dies in the earth and comes into a new life, just so it goes also with the arising and the growing up of the new creation, which in truth is Christ our life, whose appearance will put an end to the sins in us. For, dear one, what has brought on the curse, care, trouble, misery, weaknesses, which press and torture the poor man in this fallen state of his but the departing from God? And as long as he is in this condition, he is a debtor to sin and under its dominion; which subjects him to all affliction and misery, which are wont to follow the footsteps of those who live in the elemental flesh. Now without doubt it Section III. The Royal Art. 309 is good and joyful tidings to hear of a possibility of drawing out and putting off this body of sins; and in truth the prophet who has arisen in me has prophesied that such a day was at hand.

Be dismayed at it, ye that are the wounders and despisers of [407] this grace; which I see is now near being revealed, for the bridal garments are being prepared... [Cf. the end of the parable.] O Wisdom, the preparation and ordering of the bridal garments is given in charge to you alone, which shall be of divers colors, with which the king's daughter, [Analogue of the king's son, the improved son figure of the parable.] who is entrusted to thy teaching and instruction, may be distinguished from all others, and known [as redeemed].” (L. G. B., I, pp. 51 ff., wherewith the magic journey is ended.) Thus there is a confident tone, a hope in that which loses itself in the infinite. But Leade suspects that it is an unattainable ideal and knows what regulative import it has: “Ah, who up to this hour has traveled so far, and what are all our realized gifts until we have reached this goal [union with the Divinity]. Can our plummet even sound it and explore in the deep abyss, the matchless wonder of the immeasurable being? And because the revolving wheel of my spirit has found no rest in all that it has seen, known, possessed and enjoyed, it stretched its errant senses continuously towards what was still held back, and kept, by the strong rock of omnipotence; to struggle towards which with a fresh attack I resolutely determined, and would be sent away with nothing less than the kingdom and the ruling power of the Holy Ghost.” (L. G. B., I, p. 87.) In a parallel between the old and new royal art, I cannot overlook the French masonic writer Oswald Wirth, who has [408] worked in the same province. I agree with him in general;

although much of his method of interpretation seems to me too arbitrary. I have already called attention to several passages from W. S. H. on the preparation of the subject [i.e., the uninitiated].

I will endeavor to outline the contents of the rest of the work 310 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts according to the ideas of Wirth.

Having given up himself, the Subjectum is overcome in the philosophic egg [preparation chamber, i.e., sch. K.] by sadness and suffering. His strength ebbs away, the decomposition begins;

the subtle is separated from the coarse. [Smaragdine tablet.] That is the first phase of the air test. After descending to the center of the earth [Visita interiora terrae, etc.—Smaragdine tablet, 6, 8.] where the roots of all individuality meet, the spirit rises up again [Smaragdine tablet, 10.] released from the caput mortuum, which is blacked on the floor of the hermetic receptacle. The residuum is represented by the cast-off raiment of the novice.



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