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we observe the outer man to be unbelieving by nature and unpromising for much discovery, with his senses and

servile intellect all dark within, we leave him here to work with his own instruments on his own ground; there to calcine, weight, and measure circumferences, from the first to the last round of material possibility; perchance, then, when all has been tried and found wanting to his reason, extremes coalescing, we may meet again. Meanwhile we, who look directly onward to penetrate the mystery, seek not at random any longer in the outer world where so many before have foundered, albeit extacting their life’s blood, and calling the mumial vapor and every element to their aid; but we look within, or rather, that we may learn how to do so, inquire of the wise ancients to direct us about the true method and conditions of SelfKnowledge. For it is this, no common trance or day-dream, or any fanatical vision of celestials, that we propose to scrutinize, but the true psychical experience, catholic, even as the basis of that Law by which we reason, fell, and are one, uniformly living and alike all. It is into the substantiality of this and for its practical evolution that we must inquire, if we would discover the true Light of Alchemy; and the Alchemists, as we have seen, propose such a reducation of nature as shall discover this Latex without destroying her vehicle, but the modal life only; and profess that this has not alone been proved possible, but that man, by rationally conditionating, has succeeded in developing into action the Recreative Force. But the way they do not so clearly shew, or where nature may be addressed in order to the rejection of her superfluous forms; what was their immediate efficient? Whence and whereon did they direct their fire? These things, with the laboratory, its vessels and various apparatus, they have disguised, as we have already shown, and as a natural consequence, by an incurious world have been misapprehended and despised. For as Geber, with his usual point, observes, men have thought the confection of fold impossible, because they have not know the artificial destruction according to the course of nature; they have proved it to be of a strong composition, but of how strong a composition they have not proven. And all this because they knew not the verity Of altitude, latitude, and of profundity (43). For how should they, who have never glanced even in imagination toward the Causal Truth, believe in any other than remote effects? The well out of which she is drawn is deep, and not therefore to be fathomed by the plummet of a shallow reason; he must ascend in thought who would, descending, hope to penetrate so far as to the superstantial experience of things. For there it is yet hidden, the true light shut up as in a prison, the fountain of Universal Nature separated off from human understanding by the external attraction of it through the gates of sense. When the soul is situated in the body, says the philosopher, she departs from self-contemplation, and speaks of the concerns of an external life; but, becoming purified from the body, will recollect all those things, the remembrance of which she loses in the present life (44); and Plutarch, who was well initiated in these mysteries, says, the souls of men are not able to participate of the Divine nature whilst they are thus encompassed about with senses and passions, any further than by obscure glimmerings, and as it were, in comparison, a confused dream. But when they are freed from these impediments and removed into purer regions, which are neither discernible by the corporeal senses, nor liable to accidents of any kind, it is then that God becomes our leader --- upon Him they wholly depend, beholding without satiety, and still ardently longing after that beauty which it is impossible for man sufficiently to express or think --- that beauty which, according to the old mythology, Isis has so great an affection for, and which she is constantly in pursuit of, and from whose enjoyment every variety of good things with which the universe is filled, is replenished, and propagated (45). And again, in the opening of the same admirable treatise, he observes, that to desire and covet after the Truth is to aspire to be a partaker of the Divine Nature itself; and to profess that all our studies and inquiries are devoted to the acquisition of holiness; the end of which, as of all ceremonial rites and disciplines, was that the aspirant might be prepared and fitted for the attainment of the knowledge of the Supreme Mind, whom the Goddess exhorts them to search after. For this Reason is her temple