From Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery by Mary Anne Atwood:
121. “Man is the servant and interpreter of Nature”, says Bacon, and truly, so long as he goes outwardly and away from himself and from God to find knowledge; but when he returns within according to the Divine Ordinance and law of Reason, but that he has a capacity in his own principle of being and life, when allied to God, to become, next to Him, her revealer and master.
122. The only objection that can be urged rationally to the a priori investigation of nature is the lapse of the human soul, the fall away of it into selfhood, which has defaced the image, so that it no longer reflects the truth nor perceives it until it has been regenerated; and so far the objection is valid, but not beyond. The a priori method is the true one for the discovery of the first truths; the difficulty of the method does not invalidate its superiority; when found it proceeds to prove itself a posteriori by efficient procedure, as it were by what is commonly called miracle; and this, the inductive philosophy or method never can arrive at, since it goes further and further out, and finds its strength in remoteness from the causal source. The subjective can prove itself, has proved itself, to the objective; the objective never can prove itself by originating any effects.
123. The whole of the self-included vaporous vehicle of the soul must be evaporated before any truth is evolved. The vaporous vehicle is the material principle in the conception, it obscures the pure paternal light of life — the generative light, in order to bring it out into sense.
The birth into this life is a continuous image o the Fall; the Fall was not at first sensible, but spiritual; the principle of the Fall is a long way back behind its effects.
124. The spirit of nature is all imagination, ideality, fancy. She wraps herself about with what you call aromal essences, aromal emanations, in order to realize her imaginings. Nature is a personality whenever it is included in particulars — and also when regarded universally it is the same in the being of the orb soul. She is sometimes more at one time than at another in a phantastic state, when there is more power given her from the Central Source to work with, as in earthquakes and convulsions. Then she makes beautiful scenery, and throws about her shaping essence gracefully to be clothed at those junctures with the material that is in process of reformation. She enjoys reconstructing in the world, just as she does in us when the constructing organ is called into play. The embellishing spirit goes with the constructive, though not always in the same degree; that is highest and strongest when she has most supply of life. Of course, there is a sense of beauty in Nature or else the world would be ugly.
125. Children have the growth spirit in them (the vegetable spirit which is more phantastic than the animal) and therefore they imagine more freely and with less resistance from consciousness of the actual. They are not so entirely included in the circle of life and circulation. When that is completed it shuts them more in, and growth upward stops; the intercourse is then not so free with the spirit of Nature; it is imprisoned in the self-consciousness, and self becomes the magnet.
126. Behmen surpassed the Neo-Platonists in his revelations of the Life Center; of this they delivered down the principles scientifically in accordance with the natural reason and scholar-like knowledge of all contemporary literature, and of Eastern philosophy and tradition; besides which they underwent an Initiation perfected through long ages of experience; so that their theosophy bears the same relation to Behmen’s as the astronomy of Ptolemy could to that of Newton. It was not their practice to declare the inner experience of the Mystae and Teleioi; they chiefly confined themselves to the psychological investigation ad experiments.
127. Weight is the analogue of Will.
128. There are two magnets in man, i.e., two wills contending for man; the one related to the Divine Centre, the other to the self center. Therefore these two contend for the soul. The Hermetic picture of the two dogs, the Corascene dog and that of Armenia, as they sometimes are called, is an illustration of the Duellum between the two knights; in the common life they are not in contact, they are remote form each other, the one, that related to the self-will, being carried out through the senses; the other, the good life, being hidden and requiring to be sought out by the will and desire of man turned towards it.
129. When the medial life draws the hidden central light, there is a tremendous central action now, i.e., in this life, we are upside down. The Sulphur, the pure light of life, is bound down in the inferior mineral region of life, and has to be drawn forth and transplanted into the medial region before it can grow and become manifest. It is brought up like a graft, “verbum invisible fiat palpable et germinabit ut radix.” You see, the central hidden light (there’s the mystery) is hidden in the voluntary contrariation which is a salt and a poison to it, and therefore Sendivogius says that Saturn (i.e., Will) has the Key to the prison where Sulphur lies bound; for that which Will has bound, Will only can unbind.
130. Supposing I have a will that wishes to loosen your will, or rather the will that binds your life individually. I throw its purpose into your mind, and so ferment the whole including spirit of your life that it, the former, opens, corrupts, dissolves, and so lets loose the light of which the latter was begot, i.e., the light which comes into every soul born into the world. When this light is let loose, it shines forth with a sudden coruscation feeding on the surrounding ether which constitutes the atmosphere of the life, as is described in the midnight sun seen by Apuleius when he was initiated by the Goddess Isis. (You are always taken down there by spiritual guides; it is never human initiation, that).
This Will being so brought forth (in point of fact, the Golden Bough–6th Aeneid–has to be found first) returns after transplantation to complete the work which is begun for the perfecting of the soul life, which is:-
There is an action and reaction of the opposite poles(the two magnets before mentioned) to perfect one another, or rather each by the other, in the overcoming the negative law, the evil, the selfhood, into which the original sin resulted. The action of the two on one another resembles that of an acid and alkali, beginning in a violent effervescence and ending in coalescence under a third form, so as Ripley (“revived”) says, through Eiranaeus, “the Corascene dog and the bitch of Armenia, after all their snarling and biting, brought forth a sky-colored whelp.” (This colour is the colour of Wisdom.)
131. When light meets light there is true self-perception, and man begins to know and to hate and to rectify himself and desire rectification.
(132) To utter from spirit-suggestions is a fearful thing; spirits get footing in the life through utterance; every time strengthening it, it makes place for them, as it were, by vacuity of self-will, and, there being no substitution from the Divine, they take possession of the soul and plague it subsequently into submission.
133. By music the human spirit is passed back into its original sources; the sound makes a concave in the recipient life; it is formative in the ether; matter arranges itself geometrically in accordance with the forms educed.
134. The Vulcan of the Alchemists is Motion. Why Vulcan is represented as lame in the Myths is because motion or action in this life is halting; it runs after something which it never catches; it runs in a line, keeping on without returning, circularly into its own principle; in this life it is not meant to do so, for nothing here contains its own principle in itself. Vulcan is not the fire, the ignis Philosophorum, but the stirrer up of the fire.
135. The first step in this Philosophy is to create motion in the spirit. The Vulcan or Faber is the instrument of the motive agent — the mind.
136. The spirit freed works by itself, by its own law, “ignis et Azoth tibi sufficient”; the wonder must be to see it working its miracle.
137. We are all compacted in a certain petrification, i.e., life in each is as a stone in this first being; therefore they say “take that stone”, meaning take life as it is and ferment it, that is by another life, which will dissolve and kill it as well as itself; both will be reproduced in a third.
138. There is this difference between fermentation and ordinary generation, that the one is exalted in its result, the other keeps level and equal with its offspring: spiritual generation is according to the fermentative law; by fermentation of its own light it keeps on rising, until it reaches the perfection of its law. It is an ascending, not a descending, process.
139. The Divine Art evolves various states of life and develops various possibilities, offering many objects and allurements to the will. And as whatever the will enters into or draws to, becomes realized, therefore the will should aim singly at the highest good lest it create for itself idols. The creating itself into a being is the evil. This is what Lucifer did; he did not know before he tried the experiment that the stirring up of the central fire in his will would inflame the vehicle of his life, and burn up the ether which was Heaven.
140. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”, said our Lord. This, in its application to the Hermetic Art, and when the principle governs the seeker, is really the shortest as well as the truest road to the attainment of all that is promised or can be looked for. Everything is in the perfected Corner Stone, when the whole force of life regenerate is brought up into the head-consciousness, what they call in the north. The life is dislocated now; what ought to be up is down; it wastes itself. The Efficient must be regained. That is, it is to be related to mind and not to the generative life.