As a man thinketh, so he is. — Christian Scripture.
All that we are, is the result of what we have thought. — Buddhist Scripture.
Man contains within himself the fountains of wisdom, and the keys of knowledge. He who looks outside of himself for wisdom will search in vain. The unfoldment of understanding, this is true wisdom. Man is ignorant, not because wisdom inhabits a deep well, but because man's understanding is so shallow. The grandest truths of nature lie open all around us; the veil of Isis is but another name for the blindness of man. "As above, so below, as on earth, so in heaven." The same law which rounds a drop of water and crystallizes a snow-flake, forms a planet and builds a mountain. There is law, and rhythm, and melody, and exact proportion, in all created things. Exact geometry determines the form of all things. Every atom of matter in the universe is set to music. The parts of every complex body, whether of man or mountain are related to the whole by exact ratios, definite multiples. The proportion of every element in a compound is definitely fixed. So are the conditions for the development of every seed or germ, from monad to man. If you alter these conditions, nature gives no response, she is silent, and she waits. What to her are "time and space"? Hers is the eternal! the everlasting! the boundless! She never argues, never wrangles, never complains. The Caballa Denudata has been at last translated into English. Yet where are the ancient secrets "laid bare." We shall search for them in vain. He who knew these secrets in the olden time sometimes hid them in books, but revealed them there, never! There are three that bear witness, the instructive tongue, the listening ear, and the faithful breast. The instructive tongue could only babble to the gaping crowd, hence it is silent. Ears have they but they hear not, was said of them of old time. In the faithful breast the demons of pride, lust, and mammon have long ceased to bear witness. Silence reigns in heaven. There was never one who led the life, who did not at last come to know the doctrine.
We have already shown that the nature of the phenomenal universe and the bodily senses are the same. Each exists by virtue of change, motion, unrest, transition, that is their essence. Therefore they are, because they are not! You can neither detain nor repeat them. Even our thoughts are of the same nature, you cannot detain, or control them. They come and go, and come again, yet never twice the same, something is added, something wanting. Sum up our sensations as pleasure and pain, the two poles of feeling, each necessary to the other, each the exact complement of the other. How vainly do we strive to retain the pleasure and get rid of the pain. He who never suffers, never enjoys; he who is incapable of suffering is incapable of enjoyment. He who has suffered shall surely enjoy, measure for measure, for such is the law of life.
The first great division under the conception of the duality of all things is, on the one side, the phenomenal, the outer, visible changing universe; on the other the noumenal, the opposite; and the reason why this side of being is so little known, and so seldom even recognized, is that we live so largely in the things of sense and time, and this fact will presently make apparent the reason why we know nothing of any previous incarnation. If we recognize the duality of existence and discover that life is an equation, death becomes the great cancellation of the excess on the side of time. We have, already shown that individual self-consciousness is the centre in man. The sphere of consciousness is the monad that incarnates, the nucleolus of the cell. This conscious monad stands in the center between the phenomenal and the noumenal. This is the Life of which the poet speaks,
"Between two worlds life hovers like a star,
"From morn till eve on the horizon's verge."
The language of symbolism is very expressive in this direction, and may embody in a picture the size of a halfpenny the whole science of man. Cross the palm of the hand with two pins, and he who knows how to read and unfold will give you the whole of Caballa, Connect the upper and the lower points thus and you have a double triangle, or a double mountain, literally, Mt. Sinai, (1) or Mountain of Light. Next take the cell from which man's organism springs. with its cell wall, cell contents, nucleus (and contents), nucleolus (and contents), and let the apices of the triangles meet at the border of the nucleolus, thus, Now let the lower triangle represent the three lower principles of man, those related to the phenomenal world, and the upper triangle represent the three principles related to, or drawn from the noumenal world, and let us suppose the above diagram to represent the conditions at birth, at the dawn of consciousness. We have already shown that the development of all germs is a two-fold process, from "vivification" to "birth," and from birth to death, viz: the shape and physical life evolves, while the essential or typical form and spiritual life involves, thus maintaining the equation or equilibrium. In the above diagram the nucleolus represents the central sphere. Let the dawning of consciousness be represented by the interlacing of the triangles, thus, The lower triangle still represents the phenomenal world, the things oftime and sense, the upper triangle the noumenal; and as by evolution the lower triangle advances upward, so by involution the upper triangle advances downward, while the central space, formed by coalescence of the two, represents consciousness.
Now suppose this coalescence, approximation or interlacing continues, thus, till we have at last a complete geometrical figure, our familiar double triangle, or six-pointed star. This would involve an exact equation, evolution equal to involution, with progressive expansion of the central area of consciousness.
Our geometry fortifies our proposition still further, for if we fold each of the points of the triangles toward the center we shall form a complete hexagon, the six sides and six angles thereof representing the angles and sides of the two original triangles, thus making our symbolism complete. The realm of consciousness has absorbed both the phenomenal, and the noumenal, and the perfect or Divine Man stands revealed, and thus, and thus only, can man be made in the image of God. A spark of the Infinite expanding in self-consciousness till at one with the All, "as above, so below, to accomplish the purpose of one thing" viz.: the Anthropomorphic God, the Godlike man. Now suppose we represent the lower triangular space as dark, and the upper as light, the coalescence would then be mixed in the central area.
How then can this central space, consciousness, be illuminated? By conscience, the "voice of God" within the soul, and the result of this illumination is righteousness. But suppose this process of illumination — grand expansion — goes on naturally until the seventh year in the life of the child, and that from that time worldliness sets in, and the "dark world" gains the ascendency and holds it throughout life. Consciousness i. e., experience, pertains almost wholly to the lower triangle, the spiritual life (noumenal) is lost sight of, ignored, and at last ridiculed and denied. "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." Suppose that two substances naturally unite in equal proportions to form a chemical compound, and that for one pound of the one substance we place in the crucible one hundred of the other, what is the result? If there be conditions for combining at all, we shall find in the crucible when emptied, exactly two pounds of the compound, and the balance "REFUSE." How many such incarnations would it take to make man master of two worlds, twice born, a son of light. Is it any wonder we have lost our birthright, and forgotten our last incarnation? How many of the men and women of the world have any consciousness of spiritual existence? How many declare with pride that they are materialists, i e., outcasts disinherited by their own act? How many will be born into the next world like the weak sickly wailing waifs that are born into this, who after one feeble gasp sink back into the great unknown from whence they came. How many have discerned the Gates of Gold?" He that would lose his life for My sake, shall surely find it."
These are but primary concepts, true or false according to him who reads. It is not enough to suppress the appetites and passions, we must "press forward to the mark of our high calling." We are not to despise or to destroy, but to transmute, and to aspire. If we but listen in silence, "sink down into the abyss" there is one who is ever ready to exalt us. Our ears have been so long accustomed to the clash and clangor of time, that we hear not the voice of the silence, or if we hear we are afraid. According to the desires of the heart, and the fervency thereof shall be the fruition. Strong passions, strong appetites, indicate strength of life, and if the desire but once seize hold of righteousness to possess it, and if we persist and are determined, and refuse to let it go, coy and shy as a bride at first, it will at length come like a heavenly guest to rest in our bosom.
1. See J. Ralston Skinner's Notes on Caballa. (return to text)
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