Table Talk 81-100

From Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery by Mary Anne Atwood:
81. There is a war in the Work between the self-will and the Universal Will, and all the faculties and desires are engaged on one side or the other; the effort of the Universal Will is to draw them into its service by first destroying them, and then reproducing them in a transmuted form.

82. The Solar Tincture (Tinctura Solaris) is the Aurific Light.


83. The physical problem as Kirchberger calls it (Theos. Correspondence, p. 168) is the making visible the invisible spirit. Verbum invisible fiat palpabile et germinabit ut radix; it is a taking of the infinite Light-nature into bound by hypostatic multiplication of its shadow or image.

84. Lives as long as they are superficies don’t create; they are merely principles.

85. The Philosopher’s Stone is a real entity produced by spiritual generation; it is a real ens of light; it is both objective and subjective — an actuality as well as a theory.

86. Living in the Second Principle means living the Paradisiacal Life; they all lived in it — under the Cross; the heart life below the arms which, when extended, give a Cross, represents this, and is this.

87. The Universal Will being represented as agent dissolves the false forms in the self-will represented as patient. The great Salt Sea (Wisdom, the Universal Will) dissipates the impure sulphurs (desires, phantasms) in the individual will as the strokes of the sun’s rays dissipate the darkness of night.

88. There are three microcosmic centers in man — the eye of the Divine, animal rational head life; the heart of the celestial medial vegetable life; the lumbar region of the inferior mineral life. The universal matter is obtainable at the focus of either center.

89. The true manifestation of the law of Light is what is to be sought; the place of its manifestation is in the soul. “There is room for the image also in the circumlucid place. Every way to the unfashioned soul stretch the reins of fire”. (See Chaldaic Oracles and Stanley’s Hist. Phil.).

90. In the Philosophical dissolution of the body, soul and spirit are separate; the body lies without any breath; the other two are united to it as by a thread, and this continues until the refixation takes place.

Through every stage of the process of regeneration, through every stage of progress, the same principles are maintained in operation until the assimilation is perfected and the Divine Will is all. There is no defection then; the selfhood has nothing to deface, nothing to deform.

Many modern metaphysicians have taken the first ground, their starting point, from the Mystics; I mean Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Kant, and others of kindred mind. They worked hard on the margin of intellectual intuition of truth. Kant never got beyond or behind it, but stood on and ranged about the negative margin. Fichte and Schelling broke through into the ontological, the Absolute ground, seeing but without experiencing. Jacob Bhemen here transcended them. He was in the Experience, but they transcended him in scientific intuition. Oken’s case was different; he appears to have had an inspiration into the science of created nature. Behmen saw into the uncreated and felt it; the arising Life was in him consciously.

91. Kirchberger (Theos. Corresp., p. 236) thought that “the Divine Will makes use of the human voice as an organ for conducting the Light, through the fire”. It strikes me that he is right in this; the fire here is our chaotic will in potentiality; it is the basis of our microcosmic recreation.

92. I am always surprised that these Mystics refer so little to the Psalms; with the exception of Arndt there are none who seem to recognize their surpassing depth of Divine experience.

93. The Key to the Work, or into another life, the Key of the House of David, is obtained from the desire of the lower life, the generative, the fallen life, opening up into the heart life, or the medial life, or the celestial life, or the vegetable life, by exstasis.

94. The strength of the attraction of that which is above (the feminine principle, — Wisdom, — the heart life), forces, draws, attracts as by a magnet, the self-willed source upwards, so that this latter becomes transmuted into a passive feminine principle. The draw up is sudden and as at an instant; a sudden force of admiration does it; it is love which attracts. Nothing else could move that principle from its self-conscious center into self-oblivion. The seed of this life, the paternal principle, is drawn up. As the feminine spirit is the cause of the Fall, so is it in an advanced stage, you know the cause of the restoration when it advances up there. When the attraction is placed above instead of below a restoration of what was lost takes place and more also; if Paradise regained were merely the old paradise regained, why, then, the Fall would be a thing to be wondered at and deplored; but seeing that it promises in the restoration a much greater good (for the second Adam is greater than the first) may we not regard it as in accordance with the “eternal purpose, purposed in Christ Jesus, our Lord?”.

95. St Martin has a curious remark respecting the foundation of the two Testaments. He asserts it to consist “in the true pronunciation of the two great names” (Theos. Corresp., p. 244); this involves more than his words convey to common sense; as showing what really and originally the Old and New Testaments are founded on, namely, on the revealed utterance of the life of God in man. Out of that all minor details follow and belong, and all the particulars that spring out of that Universal, all who have been on that original ground, agree; they corroborate one another; the New Testament is a development and fulfillment of the promise of the Old, and with that fulfillment gives another promise.

96. All religions are founded on prior revelations, but Polytheism is distinguished from Monotheism by its deviation from the central principle.

97. As the World is diverse, so is the manifestation of the Spirit diverse; and so powers subordinate to God are evolved. Of this we have a remarkable illustration in those words of comment made by our Lord on the language of David — “I have said ye are gods, if (says our Lord) ye called them gods unto whom the Word of God came”. Where that Word comes there is power in an individual; the danger is the tendency in such gifted beings to set up self-centers. This is the key to the philosophy of the Second Commandment as the practical result of the violation of the First. A graven image means a vocal utterance carved into the understanding spirit which conceives it by the desire of life; the image lives in the heart and the whole individual worships it, and endeavors to conform to it; that sort of graven image may be carried out magically into material forms and objectively worshipped, and this we see becomes more and more weakened the further it departs from its source till it becomes a mere dead representation — common idolatry; the ancient prophets impugned both, but the danger and sin of the latter is as nothing compared to those of the former, for in it was vitality and efficacy.

98. The Initiated moved one another on by words of power. The Masons ape this, but have lost the magic Key, which was so carefully prepared by the anonymous author of the Tractatus Aureus (see Museum Hermeticum, edit. 1649, p. 45) to open the door into the Hermetic garden; they want the words, which are only to be found by seeking them in the subjective, the fundamental life, from which they are as far out as the tools they use. The true tools also may be found on the way in; they will be given one after another as they are wanted, i.e., the double Triangle and triple Tau, etc.

99. These and kindred principles are sacred in their originals; in their ultimates from the center they are not so, they are celestial and outwards; the celestial as well as the ultimate may be used. There is not that sacredness in the outward tools: they are representatives of these that are in the Recess of Light, though they are meant for sacred use, and are so far consecrated on account of purpose.

100. The outward form of Masonry is too absurd to be perpetuated were it not for a certain secret response of commonsense to the original mystery; so it is with the acceptance of all religious systems: it is based in faith, and faith looks to the invisible.

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