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Mary Anne Atwood - Hermetic Philosophy and Alchemy91

Mary Anne Atwood - Hermetic Philosophy and Alchemy91

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hermetic 91
hermetic 91

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Published by: michelez6 on Jan 20, 2014
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Chapter 3 The Mysteries Continued

It s necessary that the soul, when purified, should associate with its Generator. --- Porphyry, Aux. to Intelligib. We have so far developed the nature of the internal life only, as it was at first revealed to the aspirant in the Lesser Mysteries; and this was the only popular initiation open to all. It represented, according to the accounts, a new and fertile field of natural contemplation which every one was at liberty to appropriate, and where each roamed at pleasure without rule or subordination, and without that consent and sympathy which a uniformity of life produces. Previous to the purificative rites little change, therefore, was effected. It gave a passing experience to the multitude, and in a few awakened the desire and hope of better things; just as amongst us Mesmerism, which of all modern arts is most pertinent to this philosophy as working in the same matter, affords entrance together with the imagination of another life. And more than this, in wellconditioned cases, we have proof of the intrinsic intelligence and power of the Free Spirit which can expatiate into the whole circumference of its sphere and reveal hidden things, exhibiting a variety of gifts; it can philosophize also more or less well according to the direction, natural purity, and relaxation of the sensual bond. But not all that men wonder at in the present day, the insensibility, the cures, the mental exaltation, nor much more of the same class which the trance spontaneously develops evening the best subjects, could satisfy the exacting reason of our forefathers; desirous rather to investigate the Thing itself, the subject of so many marvels, they passed the first phenomena to look for Causes, experimenting within. Volo ovum philosophorum dissolvere et partes philosophici hominis investare, nam hoc est initium ad alia --- says the experimental Friar (1); and to concentrate the whole vitality, to turn the spiritual eye, to purify and analyze the total essence and draw forth the true Efficient and to know it in co-identity, this was their object and the Art of Theurgy. For it is not, as they say, that the Spirit is free from material bondage, or able to range the universe of her own sphere, that guarantees the truth of her revealments, or helps the consciousness on to subjective experience; for this a concentrative energy is needed, and an intellect penetrating into other spheres, rather than discursive in its own. There are many ways known and practiced of entrancing the senses, and the key of the Hermetic vestibule may be said to be already in our hands, which are able to dissolve the sensible medium and convert it to the experience of another life (2). But the order in which the next solution, or resolution rather, was operated which was to translate the consciousness underneath this medium by obscuration, towards the Central Source, is known probably to very few in the present day, for it is entirely concealed from the world: they only, amongst the ancients who had fulfilled the previous rites and undergone all the required ordeals, were entrusted with the passport. It discovers a fearful mystery in the opening sensation of power, in a life which, at its entrance, is described as dark, delusive, and dangerous, and more corrupted far than the foregoing, but through which it is quite necessary to pass before inquiry can hope to meet its object in the Elysian light. Tenent media omnia sylvae, Cocytusque sinu labens circumfluit atro. Betwixt these regions and that upper light, Deep forests and impenetrable night Possess the middle space; the infernal bounds, Cocytus, with his sable wave surrounds (3) We are aware that the descent to the Infernal regions and all those highly wrought descriptions of the poets, concerning the riches and powerful allurements of Pluto’s kingdom and Hades, have been

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