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When people unite in benevolent connection, they align themselves with the force of bestowal that sustains nature and miraculous results occur.
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DISCUSSION: On Sloth ...

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read the word? You probably thought of a lazy person, or the animal that shares the name. It’s true that lazy people are slothful, but the true definition of the word is a bit more complicated.

Back during the 4th century AD, a monk by the name Evagrius Ponticus listed gluttony, prostitution, greed, hubris, sadness, wrath, boasting, and dejection as deadly sins. This event marked the beginning of the concept of deadly sins. It was later revised by Pope Gregory I, who made many changes, one of them being combining sorrow, despair, and despondency into sloth, or acedia. In this change, the focus shifted to the consequences of sloth rather than it’s causes. By the 17th century, the sin of sloth was believed to be the failure to utilize one’s talents and gifts.

Sloth can be defined as physical laziness. This is the definition most people have. However, sloth also means spiritual laziness. The Latin word for sloth is acedia, which means a state of spiritual inaction. Sloth’s corresponding virtue is diligence.

Physical Sloth and Spiritual Sloth
Laziness - Sloth can inhibit and even prevent virtuous conduct. It is considered to be sinful because inaction can be just as bad as wrong action. When we are physically or spiritually lazy, we are wasting precious time.

Physical sloth is easy to understand. Examples could be sleeping in too often, spending too much time playing games or watching television, or procrastinating our responsibilities. Physical laziness can manifest in many different, ridiculous, and even comical ways. We must remember though that sloth is no joke. If we forget this, we are in danger of falling further into sin without realizing it.

Spiritual sloth is a bit more complicated. Most religions view sloth as more than just laziness. Sloth is sadness, depression, apathy. It is ignoring or not making our spiritual journey a priority. When we transgress either the law of man or the law of God, and don’t care, that is sloth.

Sloth and Diligence
To understand sloth it helps to think about diligence as well, since the two go hand in hand. The bible has many passages that tell us about sloth and diligence. Proverbs 13:4 says, “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” This is practical wisdom: those who work hard enjoy the fruits of their labor, but those who do not will desire and get nothing.

In 1 Corinthians 15:58, we are called to be steadfast in our spiritual journey, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” This is greatly encouraging because in our spiritual journey we will encounter opposition and persecution. We will encounter those who, wielding the “knowledge” and “wisdom” of the world, will attempt to discredit or mock our beliefs. Some will even maliciously slander or attack us for our beliefs. “There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court and detest the one who tells the truth.” (Amos 5:10)

When we face trials like these and remain steadfast, we are blessed. As the bible says, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

This is why sloth is sin. Understanding the importance of diligence in our relationship with God helps us understand why sloth is a deadly vice. Essentially, sloth is the rejection of the grace of God.

If you struggle with sloth, be it physical or spiritual, take heart! As we learned from Evagrius Ponticus, sadness, despair and despondency are ingredients with which sloth is formed in our hearts. Don’t focus on your failings or shortcomings, but instead focus on the promise of our Lord: that those who endure temptation and trial are blessed, since they, who have been tested, shall receive the crown of life (James 1:12). Remember these words if you are weary in body or in mind. Do your best to be resolute, knowing that through the Lord, your struggles are never in vain.
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ALCHEMY AUDIOBOOK:  "Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz"

The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz was edited in 1616 in Strasbourg (annexed by France in 1681). It is the third of the original manifestos of the mysterious "Fraternity of the Rose Cross" (Rosicrucians).

NOTE: It was translated into English for the first time in 1690 by E. Foxcroft. This translation became the source for many of the modern attempts to improve the original. The translation presented here is that of E. Foxcroft.

Although the book first appeared in 1616, the story takes place over 150 years earlier. It is an allegoric romance (story) divided into Seven Days, or Seven Journeys, like Genesis, and tells us about the way Christian Rosenkreuz was invited to go to a wonderful castle full of miracles, in order to assist the Chymical Wedding of the king and the queen, that is, the husband and the bride. The story begins on an evening near Easter. In the final chapter—the seventh day—CRC is knighted; the year is 1459. It was on Easter-day 1459 that the Constitutions of the Freemasons of Strasburg was first signed in Regensburg, with a second signed shortly afterwards in Strasburg. The Gutenberg Bible began printing in Mainz, Germany in 1455, and the first Bible in German, the Mentel Bible, was printed in Strasburg in 1466. The invitation to the royal wedding includes the Monas Hieroglyphica associated with John Dee. (Summary by Wikipedia.org)
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ALCHEMY: THE BOOK OF LAMBSPRING

Download the PDF of this short work about the path of Alchemy here.

http://www.thegod720.com/A%20Threefold%20Journey%20Throught%20the%20Book%20of%20Lambspring.pdf
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PHILOSOPHICAL ALCHEMY:  THE EMERALD TABLET OF HERMES

Our general observations are the starting point for the Great Work. We have a lot to do. Let us begin that work with a detailed consideration of the text, noting that this is in itself, a guided visualisation. This is not a left brain exercise in logic and rationalism. The text is a meditative guide to insight.


The Emerald Tablet of Hermes

It is true, certain, and without falsehood, that whatever is below is like that which is above; and that which is above is like that which is below: to accomplish the one wonderful work.

The fundamental point being made is that truth and reality can only be grasped by analogy. The Above is not the Below; it is like the Below. That is, we can only understand by symbols, metaphors, parables, poems, mandalas and koans. We can only approach reality indirectly to accomplish the Great Work.

As all things are derived from the One Only Thing, by the will and by the word of the One Only One who created it in His Mind, so all things owe their existence to this Unity by the order of Nature, and can be improved by Adaptation to that Mind.

Unity is the only truth. All else is illusion. And yet, the One becomes the Many and the Many must return to the One. But when they do, they are improved. The secret is adaptation to the one mind. What is this adaptation? Precisely what we are doing by contemplating the diagram and using the text as a guided visualisation. The point is that when we realise our true nature as a divine spark, we shall do so in full awareness and in the complete development of our spirituality.

Its Father is the Sun; its Mother is the Moon; the Wind carries it in its womb; and its nurse is the Earth.

The One becomes the Many and so, it differentiates into 4 separate steps; Above Þ Below, personified as the astrologer. Heaven sets the pattern for earth. On the Tree of Life, Tiferet is the Sun, Chakhmah is the Zodiac, Binah is Saturn, Chesed is Jupiter and Gevurah is Mars. Again, these are guides for visualisation. It is no use talking about it, we must experience it.

This Thing is the Father of all perfect things in the world.

The one thing is the Prima Materia. It is connected with the Stone of the Philosophers and with the Philosophers' Stone. What are they? It is for the seeker to discover. Meditate!

Its power is most perfect when it has again been changed into Earth.

It must descend from the Above to the Below; it must be changed into earth. That is, this truth must be realised by us here and now.

Separate the Earth from the Fire, the subtle from the gross, but carefully and with great judgement and skill.

This is the alchemical koan: solve et coagula. The Prima Materia must be separated into its constituent parts, rectified and reunited. This is the work of the alchemist, Below Þ Above. It is in 3 steps and on the Tree of Life, Netzach is a lower form of Sulfur, Hod is a lower form of Mercury and Yesod is a lower form of Salt. They all go to Tiferet. Of course it takes great judgement and skill. Do we really understand what it means to separate the One Thing, let alone reunite it? Meditate!

It ascends from earth to heaven, and descends again, new born, to the earth, taking unto itself thereby the power of the Above and the Below.

After the alchemist ascends to heaven, now comes the magus who descends again to earth via the double path on the Tree, from Keter to Tiferet. New born within the magus is the power of the Above and the Below, rectified and reunited. When we achieve this state, we too shall be thrice great.

Thus the splendor of the whole world will be thine, and all darkness shall flee from thee.

This state of unified consciousness can only be symbolised by the absence of darkness, that is, light. That is why this state is called "enlightenment".

This is the strongest of all powers, the Force of all forces, for it overcometh all subtle things and can penetrate all that is solid.

Consciousness is the only reality. All else is illusion no matter how solid things may appear. But this is the unified consciousness of the divine spark. It is not the increasingly limited awareness that functions through our vehicles of consciousness from spirit, through the soul and into our body. The whole point of the diagram and the text of the Emerald Tablet, is to give us a guide for the work we must do in order to re-unite our fragmented awareness. This is indeed a Great Work.

For thus was the world created, and rare combinations, and wonders of many kinds are wrought.

Hermes, the personification of our true "I", by 4 steps of descent, 3 steps of ascent and 1 step of re-descent, performed the Solar Work. By analogy, like this way but not in this way, we must do the same. Are you confused? Good! That is why the concept of analogy is so important. It is a subtle and sophisticated process that can only be grasped by meditation and visualisation. That is the true work.

Hence I am called HERMES TRISMEGISTUS, having mastered the three parts of the wisdom of the whole world.

Hermes is the divine spark. He is consciousness, fully self aware, unified and complete in its fullness. Hence he can control his vehicles of consciousness: spirit as the astrologer; soul as the magus; body as the alchemist. Of course he is Thrice Great. So shall we be, when we learn what analogy is, what it does and what it means to say that the Above is like the Below.

What I have to say about the masterpiece of the alchemical art, the Solar Work, is now ended.

Fundamentally, the Solar Work is alchemical because it is about getting us from Malkhut, on the Tree of Life, to Tiferet. Malkhut is the place of the 4 elements in their microcosmic aspect and Tiferet is the place of the Sun. When we get from the Below to the Sun, we then can continue the Great Work by rising to the Above. But that's another story.

Solve et Coagula
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Follow Your Heart, it is Smarter Than You Think

The heart is also the first organ that is being formed in the womb. The rest comes later.

by Rebecca Cherry

Recently, Neurophysicists have been astonished to discover that the Heart is more an organ of intelligence, than (merely) the bodies’ main pumping station. More than half of the Heart is actually composed of neurons of the very same nature as those that make up the cerebral system. Joseph Chilton-Pearce, author of The Biology of Transcendence, calls it “the major biological apparatus within us and the seat of our greatest intelligence.”

The Heart is also the source of the body’s strongest electromagnetic field. Each heart cell is unique in that it not only pulsates in synchrony with all the other heart cells, but also produces an electromagnetic signal that radiates out beyond the cell. An EEG that measures brain waves shows that the electromagnetic signals from the heart are so much stronger than brain waves, that a reading of the heart’s frequency spectrum can be taken from three feet away from the body…without placing electrodes on it!

The Heart’s electromagnetic frequency arcs out from the Heart and back in the form of a torus field. The axis of this Heart torus extends from the pelvic floor to the top of the skull, and the whole field is holographic, meaning that information about it can be read from each and every point in the torus.

The Hearts’ torus electromagnetic field is not the only source that emits this type of electromagnetic field. Every atom emits the same torus field. The Earth is also at the center of a torus, so is the solar system and even our galaxy…and all are holographic. Scientists believe there is a good possibility that there is only one universal torus encompassing an infinite number of interacting, holographic tori within its spectrum. Because electromagnetic torus fields are holographic, it is more than likely that the sum total of our Universe is present within the frequency spectrum of a single torus.
Gaiam Your #1 Source For Everything Yoga! Click Here!

This means that each one of us is connected to the entire Universe and as such, can access all the information within it at any given moment. When we get quiet and access what we hold in our Hearts, we are literally connecting to the limitless supply and Wisdom of the Universe, thereby enabling what we perceive as “miracles” to enter into our lives.

When we disconnect and shut down the Heart’s innate wisdom of Love-based thinking, the ego-based intellect takes over and operates independently of the Heart, and we revert to a survival mentality based on fear, greed, power, and control. In this way, we come to believe that we are separate, our perception of life shifts into one of limitation and scarcity, and one in which we must fight in order to survive. This amazing organ, that we often time ignore, neglect and build walls around, is where we can find our strength, our faith, our courage and our compassion, enabling our higher emotional intelligence that can, if we allow it, guide us through our lives.

We must now switch the gears out of the fear-based mental state that we have been taught to believe in, and move into Heart Centered living. For this transformation to take place, one must learn to meditate, “go into your Heart” and access the inner wisdom of the Universe. It is the only way, it is THE WAY. As each one of us begins this quiet revolution of living from the Heart, we will begin to see it reflected in our lives and in our World. This is how each one of us will create change in the world, create Peace, create Harmony and Balance, and in this way, will we all create the New World Paradigm of Heaven on Earth.
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Awaken Your Infinite Power!
Feel Alive by Ralph Smart.
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In the taking of "The Grass of the Arabs" ... 
I did not gain foresight, 
For I had that aforetime.
I could not have gained in ten Lifetimes! 

~ Hermes Trismegestis (Thoth the Atlantean)
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The Rebis
The soul of man or a woman is androgynous. We have both genders within us, and without this duality, consciousness would not be, since there would be no energy flow and no reflection. This duality and seeming irreconcilability is what drives one to seek out the mystery and desire for that which is opposite in his or her self. This is the spice of life, to be separated so that we may unite and feel the other in us. Love reconciles all. True love is so powerful that it opens up to infinite depths this most beautiful mystery that is to be found in the opposite of one's nature. As long as the ego does not get in the way, this love affair and desire for union then becomes a divine quest and an eternal longing.
It has been said that, " Between the lover and the Beloved there must be no veil. Thou thyself are thine own veil. Get out of the way."
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This is a video of Sajah Popham's presentation at the 2014 Renaissance Medicine Conference. It highlights how Alchemy, Spagyrics, and Astrology formed the crux of the Medicinal Tradition of Renaissance Europe. Well worth the view. 
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DOWNLOADABLE PDF:  "Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion"  
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ALCHEMY AUDIOBOOK:  "Vegetarian Diet and Occult Practice, Vegetarianism and Occultism," by C.W. Leadbeatter

How does occultism regard vegetarianism? It regards it very favorably, and that for many reasons. These reasons may be divided into two classes: those which are ordinary and physical, and those which are occult or hidden. Let us see in detail why a vegetarian diet is emphatically the purest and the best. (Summary from Vegetarianism and Occultism)

http://youtu.be/gkQCVb2UTGE
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This diagram has 3 circles and therefore the ultimate issue is THREENESS. There are:

3 pillars on the Tree of Life; Mercy, Severity and Grace.

3 vehicles of human consciousness; body, soul and spirit.

3 vehicles of God’s manifestation; Jesus, Christ and Logos.

3 orientations to God in the Great Work; knowledge, love and sacrificial action.

3 persons of God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

3 principles of alchemy; Mercury, Sulfur and Salt.

3 Mother Letters of kabala; Alef, Mem and Shin.

No doubt, other trinities can be identified. For the moment, let us tabulate what we have in order to grasp the underlying pattern and then relate it to the diagram:

Tree of Life                Severity     Mercy       Grace
Human vehicles       Body           Soul          Spirit
God’s vehicles          Yeshua       Christ       Logos
Orientations               Sacrifice    To Love  To Know
Persons of God         Son             Father      HolySpirit
Alchemy                      Salt             Sulfur       Mercury
Kabalah                        Mem            Shin         Alef 

It is now clear enough that in terms of the Great Work, this diagram is fundamentally about the way in which we orient ourselves to God. This is apparent from the stages of the Great Work:
At the level of Action, in our body, we perform the 12 Disciplines.

At the level of Formation, through our soul, we reconcile the 7 Pairs of Opposites.

At the level of Creation, by our spirit, we align to God by 3 Orientations.

At the level of Emanation, our Divine spark unites with God.

When we function consciously in our vehicle of manifestation the spirit, we orientate to God either through knowledge, love or sacrificial action. We can only do this if we have first performed the Disciplines and reconciled the Opposites. However before we can successfully complete the first two stages of the Work, we need to understand the third stage in order to see everything in its proper context. Is this paradoxical? Good, that means we are making progress. Let us therefore begin at the level of Creation, with THREENESS and consider the diagram. We see 3 circles and if we look closely, we realise that one interpenetrates the other, from the Above to the Below. It goes like this:

Behind the top circle

However before we consider the top circle, we must look behind it. What hide there, are principles so difficult to grasp, that they cannot be drawn as a diagram, they can only be named. We are dealing with the Uncreated Eternity and the Unfathomable Primum Mobile.

What does it mean to say that eternity is uncreated? This is essentially a concept to do with time. The Primum Mobile is Latin and means the "first swirlings". To say it is unfathomable, is to make a comment about space. Fundamentally, we are dealing with an ontological "time and space", before the time and space that we perceive, was created. Interestingly, we are dealing with exactly the same concept as the Big Bang of quantum physics. According to physics, before the Big Bang, there was neither time nor space as we know them. There was only the quantum vacuum. An ontologically different "time" and "space". The time and space that we actually perceive, are a product of the Big Bang.  Thus if we understand the 3 circles as interpenetrating each other, the centre of the top circle emerges as a Big Bang from the Uncreated and the Unfathomable, alternate ways of naming the quantum vacuum.

Kabalistically, this is the level of reality Emanation. Its principle is unity with God. In human terms this is our Divine spark in fully conscious self-realisation of that unity. Our spark is not a vehicle of consciousness; it is consciousness.

Top circle

This is the smallest in size and the least complex in form. In human terms it is the vehicle of consciousness we know as spirit and in God’s terms it is his vehicle of manifestation the Holy Spirit. How do we know? In the centre is a small circle with the tetragrammaton in Hebrew, God’s Name, IHVH. This is the equivalent of our Divine spark. From the Name there is an outpouring of light with the Latin word fiat, which is a clear reference to God’s command fiat lux ("let there be light"). The 3 Persons appear in this outpouring as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. So the unity at the level of Emanation, begins its differentiation at the level of Creation into the THREENESS that is fundamental to this level.

In his true being, God is symbolised by the number 1. However the fullness of his being, as understood by us, is symbolised by the number 10. Around the perimeter of the circle are nine winged cherubs with a tenth that opens up in order to manifest its nature. There are 10 cherubs because they are not just pretty decorations; they point to the One who is, 10 = 1 + 0 = 1. In human terms, our vehicle of consciousness the spirit, emerges out of unity with a three-fold nature. Please refer to the above table to see the correlations with the number 3. For our purposes the important point is that when we function with full awareness at the level of spirit, we are actively orienting ourselves to God. 

There are 3 Orientations:

To God via the left pillar of Severity on the Tree of Life; the way of knowledge. This is best understood by the Greek word gnosis, which refers to much more than left brain intellect. It means a direct grasping of truth which the Buddhists call the "suchness" of things and which Plato would have called truth "in itself". It takes the 12 Disciplines and the 7 Reconciliation of the Pairs of Opposites, before we can have this kind of knowledge. How else can we know God?

To God via the right pillar of Mercy on the Tree of Life; the way of love. How little we understand this. Again the Greek will guide us, with the word agape. This is a deep spiritual love that is far beyond the shallow sentimentality that we experience in our ordinary lives. Is this hard to grasp? It should be. We can only understand this kind of love when we experience the dark night of the soul.

To God via the middle pillar of Grace on the Tree of Life; the way of sacrificial action. This is the hardest of all to grasp precisely because we think we understand it the best. Not so. Consider Christ. With full knowledge of what he was doing and with deep love, he acted by offering himself for crucifixion as a living sacrifice. To get a full appreciation of what he did, he sacrificed:

-  His vehicle of manifestation we call Jesus; corresponding to our body.

-  His vehicle of manifestation we call Christ; corresponding to our soul.

-  His vehicle of manifestation we call Logos; corresponding to our spirit.

Who was He who did this? In truth it was God in manifestation. Do we even now understand his sacrificial action? Is this paradoxical and mysterious? It should be.

Middle circle

The tenth cherub appears as a circle containing a hexagram with wings. From it, emanates the middle circle that we understand to be the vehicle of consciousness that we call our soul. How do we know this? The hexagram contains 7 points: 6 corners plus the centre. In the Great Work, the number 7 represents the soul because the form of the soul is in the chakras and there are 7 of them. At the centre of the hexagram is the symbol of the sun which equivalent to our heart chakra. That is the metaphysical centre of our soul.

The hexagram is at the centre of three circles, once more emphasising THREENESS. Thus the soul is not a separate entity, it must be seen in its proper context as one of three vehicles of consciousness functioning together as a unified whole. On the left of the three circles is the alchemical symbol for Sulfur and on the right, the symbol for Mercury. Underneath are the alchemical words Prima Materia and two more very small hexagrams. Beneath that, are the two outstretched wings with the slightly larger hexagrams at their tips. We are immediately reminded of the statement in the Fama Fraternitatis, "beneath the shadow of thy wings, IHVH". What does all this mean?

First, there is the repetition of the principle of polarity: two alchemical symbols, two pairs of hexagrams, two alchemical words, two wings. This is precisely correct because the reconciliation of the 7 Pairs of Opposites (or polarities) happens in the vehicle of consciousness we refer to as the soul; right here. Secondly, Sulfur symbolises the soul and Mercury symbolises the spirit. At this point, we are indeed studying the relationship between soul and spirit. Thirdly, the hexagram with its two interlaced triangles, accurately conveys that very relationship. Fourthly, beneath the "shadow" of the wings on the diagram, is a further circle with a triangle within it. We can infer that the central circle is in fact, the tiny symbol of the sun that is at the centre of the hexagram flanked by the two wings. The central circle is the "opened up" version of the sun symbol. Let us follow this through:

The central circle has four smaller circles at its circumference. They are the familiar alchemical elements: Ignis (Fire), Aqua (Water), Terra (Earth), Aer (Air). Their placement is unusual in that although they are in the proper order, they begin with Fire on top instead of Air. If they are rotated to the right by 90° , then they are in the right order and also correctly oriented. Why are they like this? Does each of us have a soul that is disoriented and which has to be corrected?

The four elemental circles form a cross and that gives us the process that we must put into action, integration at the soul level. But what is there to integrate?

Inside the elemental circle is a triangle also composed of circles. Six circles. Now the large hexagram above, becomes clearer. The six circles of the triangle are the six points of the hexagram "opened up". The elemental circle is the "opened up" version of the space around the hexagram.

At the three corners of the triangle are three small circles representing the alchemical principles of Salt, Sulfur and Mercury. Thus all three vehicles of consciousness are now being considered, body, soul and spirit. In the centre of the triangle the alchemical principles are mirrored by the principle of polarity (sun/ moon) and its integration into a symbiotic relationship by the Tincture.

The central circle with its four smaller circles and triangle, gives us this formula:

4 + 3 = 7

The 4 elemental circles plus the 3 corners of the triangle (3 alchemical principles) gives us 7 chakras. Our chakras are in a relationship that we have not considered before. They are the structure of our vehicle of consciousness the soul and we must give them close attention. We can think of the chakras like this:

Crown                Mercury
Brow                   Sulfur
Throat                Salt
-----------------------
Heart                  Air
Navel                  Fire
Sacral                 Water
Base                   Earth

The top 3 chakras are qualitatively different from the bottom 4 chakras. The top 3 are masculine and the bottom 4 are feminine. The 4 feminine elemental circles contain within them like a womb, the masculine triangle. The point is in the numbers and the secret is their combination in all possible permutations: 3 x 4 = 12. This is the number of signs of the zodiac and it is also the number of our last vehicle of consciousness, the body. Before we go there, let us note that inside the total circle but outside the central circle, there are astrological and alchemical words and symbols, in apparent chaotic confusion. This is the appearance created by the way in which we live. But at the heart of chaos, there is law and order in the functioning of our chakras. If we understand this, we can take charge of our lives.

Fundamentally, this circle is the metaphysical place where we reconcile the 7 Pairs of Opposites.

Bottom circle
The most obvious point about this circle is that it is surrounded by the 12 signs of the zodiac. Less obvious but more important, in the centre there is a small black circle with a hexagram (and other symbols) inside it. This is the middle circle "opening up" into the bottom circle. The main issue is that the 3 vehicles of consciousness interpenetrate each other.

Let us consider the outer edge and the 12 signs of the zodiac. Do you notice anything strange? They appear to be a mirror image of the normal way in which they are portrayed. Why? We are an image of the kosmos and the kosmos is an image of God. We are an image of the image. It is like looking into a mirror. When we do that, we do not see reality. We see an illusion. Does this describe our daily lives? After all, the bottom circle symbolises our vehicle of consciousness the body and it functions on sense perceptions. Why is this important? Imagine a sound. It appears to happen "out there". Something does happen and it creates vibrations in the air. These are translated into mechanical action by the ear drums. This mechanical action is then translated into electro/chemical impulses that go to the brain. At the appropriate brain centre they are translated into sound and it is projected so as to appear as if it is "out there". Let us look at it this way:

External event Þ vibrations Þ mechanical action Þ electro/chemical Þ sound.

The arrows represent the translations. There are four different changes in order for sound to be heard. Are we therefore hearing something real? Are we perceiving reality directly through our sense of hearing? We cannot be; there are too many translations. Our body through its senses does not perceive reality. It only perceives the illusion. To grasp reality, we must go back through the vehicles of consciousness, from body to soul and spirit, and then to the Divine spark that is our true nature.

Let us continue with the bottom circle. Inside the zodiac, we find the planetary spheres from Saturn on the outside to the Moon on the inside. This is the metaphysical place of the ascent of the soul through the spheres. This is a different process from the Reconciliation of the 7 Pairs of Opposites. The Reconciliation is a process of healing and integration that must precede the ascent of the soul. In fact before the Reconciliation process, must come the process of this vehicle of consciousness, the 12 Spiritual Disciplines. This is a topic on its own.

Beneath the planetary spheres are the sub-lunar spheres of the 4 alchemical elements, Fire, Air, Water, Earth. These are the basic constituents of our nature. In the centre is the black circle with the hexagram of the soul and the 16 rays of light. These are the combinations of the elements, 4 x 4 =16.

Summary

What does all this mean? At the macrocosmic level we have God, IHVH, emanating the kosmos by 3 vehicles of manifestation shown as the 3 circles. At the microcosmic level we have our Divine spark controlling its 3 vehicles of consciousness. The relationship between them is that the kosmos is a reflection of God and we are a reflection of the kosmos.

The hidden issues are that we need to heal and integrate our 3 vehicles of consciousness, so that we can engage in the ascent of the soul (as an integrated entity) up through the planetary spheres. The reason for that is to give us the gnosis that overcomes death and gives salvation. So how do we heal and integrate? By the 12 Spiritual Disciplines, the Reconciliation of the 7 Pairs of Opposites and the 3 Orientations to God. Some clues to this process are provided by the Emerald Tablet of Hermes and the Mons Philosophorum.  In fact, the whole doctrine is contained in the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians. All we have to do, is to examine those symbols with wisdom and understanding.
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Victoria Generao
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Alchemy & Hermeticism  - 
 
PHILOSOPHICAL ALCHEMY: THE EMERALD TABLET OF HERMES

Our general observations are the starting point for the Great Work. We have a lot to do. Let us begin that work with a detailed consideration of the text, noting that this is in itself, a guided visualisation. This is not a left brain exercise in logic and rationalism. The text is a meditative guide to insight.


The Emerald Tablet of Hermes

It is true, certain, and without falsehood, that whatever is below is like that which is above; and that which is above is like that which is below: to accomplish the one wonderful work.

The fundamental point being made is that truth and reality can only be grasped by analogy. The Above is not the Below; it is like the Below. That is, we can only understand by symbols, metaphors, parables, poems, mandalas and koans. We can only approach reality indirectly to accomplish the Great Work.

As all things are derived from the One Only Thing, by the will and by the word of the One Only One who created it in His Mind, so all things owe their existence to this Unity by the order of Nature, and can be improved by Adaptation to that Mind.

Unity is the only truth. All else is illusion. And yet, the One becomes the Many and the Many must return to the One. But when they do, they are improved. The secret is adaptation to the one mind. What is this adaptation? Precisely what we are doing by contemplating the diagram and using the text as a guided visualisation. The point is that when we realise our true nature as a divine spark, we shall do so in full awareness and in the complete development of our spirituality.

Its Father is the Sun; its Mother is the Moon; the Wind carries it in its womb; and its nurse is the Earth.

The One becomes the Many and so, it differentiates into 4 separate steps; Above Þ Below, personified as the astrologer. Heaven sets the pattern for earth. On the Tree of Life, Tiferet is the Sun, Chakhmah is the Zodiac, Binah is Saturn, Chesed is Jupiter and Gevurah is Mars. Again, these are guides for visualisation. It is no use talking about it, we must experience it.

This Thing is the Father of all perfect things in the world.

The one thing is the Prima Materia. It is connected with the Stone of the Philosophers and with the Philosophers' Stone. What are they? It is for the seeker to discover. Meditate!

Its power is most perfect when it has again been changed into Earth.

It must descend from the Above to the Below; it must be changed into earth. That is, this truth must be realised by us here and now.

Separate the Earth from the Fire, the subtle from the gross, but carefully and with great judgement and skill.

This is the alchemical koan: solve et coagula. The Prima Materia must be separated into its constituent parts, rectified and reunited. This is the work of the alchemist, Below Þ Above. It is in 3 steps and on the Tree of Life, Netzach is a lower form of Sulfur, Hod is a lower form of Mercury and Yesod is a lower form of Salt. They all go to Tiferet. Of course it takes great judgement and skill. Do we really understand what it means to separate the One Thing, let alone reunite it? Meditate!

It ascends from earth to heaven, and descends again, new born, to the earth, taking unto itself thereby the power of the Above and the Below.

After the alchemist ascends to heaven, now comes the magus who descends again to earth via the double path on the Tree, from Keter to Tiferet. New born within the magus is the power of the Above and the Below, rectified and reunited. When we achieve this state, we too shall be thrice great.

Thus the splendor of the whole world will be thine, and all darkness shall flee from thee.

This state of unified consciousness can only be symbolised by the absence of darkness, that is, light. That is why this state is called "enlightenment".

This is the strongest of all powers, the Force of all forces, for it overcometh all subtle things and can penetrate all that is solid.

Consciousness is the only reality. All else is illusion no matter how solid things may appear. But this is the unified consciousness of the divine spark. It is not the increasingly limited awareness that functions through our vehicles of consciousness from spirit, through the soul and into our body. The whole point of the diagram and the text of the Emerald Tablet, is to give us a guide for the work we must do in order to re-unite our fragmented awareness. This is indeed a Great Work.

For thus was the world created, and rare combinations, and wonders of many kinds are wrought.

Hermes, the personification of our true "I", by 4 steps of descent, 3 steps of ascent and 1 step of re-descent, performed the Solar Work. By analogy, like this way but not in this way, we must do the same. Are you confused? Good! That is why the concept of analogy is so important. It is a subtle and sophisticated process that can only be grasped by meditation and visualisation. That is the true work.

Hence I am called HERMES TRISMEGISTUS, having mastered the three parts of the wisdom of the whole world.

Hermes is the divine spark. He is consciousness, fully self aware, unified and complete in its fullness. Hence he can control his vehicles of consciousness: spirit as the astrologer; soul as the magus; body as the alchemist. Of course he is Thrice Great. So shall we be, when we learn what analogy is, what it does and what it means to say that the Above is like the Below.

What I have to say about the masterpiece of the alchemical art, the Solar Work, is now ended.

Fundamentally, the Solar Work is alchemical because it is about getting us from Malkhut, on the Tree of Life, to Tiferet. Malkhut is the place of the 4 elements in their microcosmic aspect and Tiferet is the place of the Sun. When we get from the Below to the Sun, we then can continue the Great Work by rising to the Above. But that's another story.

Solve et Coagula
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