Table Talk 61-80

61. Saturn or the self-willed life can only be overcome in the process by satiation; he must be given from without plenty “of the honey of the bees”, the aurific seed, the Rational Light.

He first of all entraps the Light, and then he longs for more to feed that center which he has entrapped, and just as a seed which has drawn light from the sun longs for more and so grows until it bursts out of the Saturnine husk into a flower, and soon no longer grows for itself but for another generation and becomes transmuted, so the selfish Saturnine life in man when once it has passed into its new life, or rather admitted it, assimilates that life into itself and becomes itself transmuted.

62. As man was the Quintessence of the whole creation, so woman was the Quintessence of man — the love-spirit was in her.


The whole process of the Mystery was intended to purify the impure vital atmosphere which surrounds each individual life. The action of mesmerism is a very external way — an imitation of the Divine Art of the separation of which Paracelsus speaks. It solves the bond between the spirit and its corporeal media for the moment, by the perpendicular or vertical passes. Clairvoyants perceive this atmosphere, and the deformities with which it is full; all the thoughts and desires of life are imaged there. Its density or lightness is the cause of the darkness or brightness which may be seen in men.

63. There are two Causes and one Mother in the Work; the Mystery of this is shadowed out in the myth of Oedipus. It is shut up in those strange allegories of earlier Greek life. Qui capit, ille sapit.

64. The Law of Divine Manifestation is expressed in those striking words of Behmen in the Sign. Rerum, Ch. II, p. 68: “An Eternal Will arises in the No Thing to introduce the No Thing into Something, that the Will might feel and find and behold itself”. C.f., the Enigma Omia in omnibus in Khunrath. This is the order imaged out in the Hermetic Work, which is in fact an imitation of the Divine.

65. The first-fruits, though perfectly real, should not be accepted as permanent, — the Artist should not stop there; they must be sacrificed for the sake of the promise they contain, would he fulfill the Divine purpose and not his own. There is a good illustration of this in the latter part of that curious little book, The Hermetic Wedding.

66. True Knowledge is experimental contact of mind with mystery; it is when the mind enters into the Universal consciously; it returns, as it were, into its principle and knows itself in its principle, and there is an efflux of life.

It is not merely an experience such as one might have in receiving a blow; there is a consequence in it. The true Adepts had this knowledge and its fruits. Ordinary men only touch a surface; they don’t realize; their life is not multiplied into the absolute fountain of being. Many of the Alchemists only saw theoretically; some of them entering into the medial sphere; the Paradisiacal life inferred the higher and deeper.

67. The Salt is the voluntary substance, and is bound up in the lowest region, the generative mineral life, and must be translated or drawn up into the medial life (Troy in the old analogy is that citadel where Apollo keeps his cattle, Mercury steals them and afterwards sacrifices them); the Salt thus transplanted becomes Light and grows; and, in growing, this sensibly affects the whole connate or surrounding spirit, ferments it, and moves it to contrition.

68. True Alchemy (not that which the world has run after without finding) is related to Theosophy on its physical side; it concerns that change in the circulatory system of the blood to which St Martin and Eckhartshausen, among others of the same highly experimental school, allude, showing how the change is wrought by reiterative contritions absorbing the sensuous medium and carrying back the purer conscious ens of light to its first life in God.

69. The Christian scheme is the bringing of the whole of our life into the Sonship by regeneration; it is an eternal marriage-union between man and God in Christ, as is hinted by St Paul and in the Book of Revelation. No doubt the state of it, when thoroughly achieved, is one of perfect beatitude; the mind then revels as it were in the appreciation of its Maker, its Source. Man is so a child of God, regenerated or born again as an offspring of his own will, given up in passivity to the Divine Will. It is the death to sin with a new birth awakened in us, and until that takes place we know little or nothing of the sinfulness of this life.

70. It is by emotion that mind is moved into matter. Emotion is a mid-point between the two; conscience strikes upon the self-life, and, when it does so, effectually ferments it and evolves from it a third form of life, a new birth of life.

71. All qualities (every adjective form) are first in the letter the grounded form, the mathematical flat surface; then in the intellectual, that which understands that; then in the emotional that which feels and as it were has it; then in the expression of the emotional it becomes sensible and so materialized — for the efflux or first origin of mater is upon the sensible experience; hence, the strange nomenclature of the Hermeticist and of Behmen about the Sulphur, the Salt and the Mercury; the water, the air, the fire, etc., relates to principles rather than qualities: in the spirit they become qualities. Thought qualitates spirit, and spiritual experiences bring the qualities produced into manifestation, into esse from posse.

72. All is held in potentiality in Will.

The Alchemists say that, in the process, there is a point of passivity, where there is no attraction but rather an indifference to both the life and the death; then the Artist must look to his Work, and seek to stir up the Motion; this we learn in the language of the older masters, that when Vulcan appears in the same altar with Minerva the conjunction is ominous. This means that all the desire of life is towards the Wisdom-life, that pure, good, beautiful, passionate life: of itself it needs nothing, but if it is stirred it is taken; what takes it is the self-will.

The whole of this mystery is a translation of the consciousness; for there is a life behind the consciousness. Present consciousness lives in and is drawn out to sense; it may be, it should be, thrown backwards, nay upwards, into its First Source.

73. The Philosophic Matter is an excruciated ens of Light; a light extracted through anguish from Life. The process goes over and over again, for we could not bear the birth in our own strength; it is a successive giving up of itself to be bettered on the part of Will.

The principle of it is wonderfully beautiful when one gets a glimpse of it, but it is almost too sacred, and impinges so strongly on the Spirit-life that I don’t think you can think into such spheres of life without moving them, or being moved by them.

74. Everything is in Will. All in the beginning is Will; it is the foundation of everything, and is everything; it is the only true substance of body. It subsists first in one will, then in two wills, and exists in the third; it then becomes a self-assertion.

75. All the false sulphurs (by sulphurs I mean forms) of the mundane life require to be purified, nay, perhaps extirpated, in order that the medium for manifestation of the Divine Light maybe simple and pure. The human spirit has to die to everything that it now lives to, and lastly to its own identity, in order to become a simple receptacle and magnet for the Divine Seed. When it re-arises it is a true manifestation, reflex and image of the Divine; that is the condition of the highest regeneration. All true religion in this life is a preparation of the Will for this final work.

76. We have no business whatsoever to speak The Name. If it should speak in us it will work its own change in us (c.f., St Martin’s Correspondence, letter 30); that is how it spake in our Lord’s baptism, when the Voice came, “How I have both glorified my Name and I will glorify it again”. It would seem as of our Lord when He prayed “Father, glorify thy Name”, and received that answer, needed new strength by the utterance of the Name; hence He introduced that prayer by declaration, “Now is my soul troubled”.

77. “Take that matter which is gold”, says Eirenaeus, “and throw it into Mercury, such a Mercury as is bottomless, whose center it can never find but by discovering its own”; in finding the magical earth in yourself, in your own center, you find that which is in the air or the vegetable life, that pure earth which commences the Regeneration, the medial life (nascitur in aere terra magica; in aethere clarificatur). The mineral earth belongs to the lower life and to the center of the globe (See St Martin’s Theos. Correspondence, p. 117).

78. Wisdom is nowhere so well described as in the Book of Wisdom; it is a pure exemplar from the first Light or Life, showing man what he ought to be, and offering to conform him to it. The standard is very high and arduous, nothing but entire self-devotion is of any use even to begin with. Its end is that so-called annihilation bringing back into the Nothing which is before all things. You see it holds such a strong contrast in hand, the perfection of the Law of Light, and the defection of humanity; just that state described by Job: “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth Thee; therefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes”. This Divine Wisdom in us has to be born over Andover again; it is an ultimate in the procedure in human restoration.

79. The life acts through the sensuous and sensible spirit in the blood; it is all to be taken up into, I suppose, the will to cause another and new life to grow out of its death. If you magnetize a person, he is elevated into a purer atmosphere instantly; the natural tendency at once is to a purification; it dissolved the sensuous medium and opens the consciousness to the Divine life; you may corrupt it by introducing forcibly upon the patient a bad will, but it is not, naturally easy to do so.

80. Out of the ashes of this present sensuous spirit arises the Phoenix.

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