M&D-C28c - Knight Of The Sun

Albert Pike – Morals and Dogma

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Masonry propagates no creed except its own most simple and Sublime One; that universal religion, taught by Nature and by Reason. Its Lodges are neither Jewish, Moslem, nor Christian Temples. It reiterates the precepts of morality of all religions. It venerates the character and commends the teachings of the great and good of all ages and of all countries. It extracts the good and not the evil, the truth, and not the error, from all creeds; and acknowledges that there is much which is good and true in all.

Above all the other great teachers of morality and virtue, it reveres the character of the Great Master Who, submissive to the will of His and our Father, died upon the Cross. All must admit, that if the world were filled with beings like Him, the great ills of society would be at once relieved. For all coercion, injury, selfishness, and revenge, and all the wrongs and the greatest sufferings of life, would disappear at once. These human years would be happy; and the eternal ages would roll on in brightness and beauty; and the still, sad music of Humanity, that sounds through the world, now in the accents of grief, and now in pensive melancholy, would change to anthems, sounding to the March of Time, and bursting out from the heart of the world.

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If every man were a perfect imitator of that Great, Wise, Good Teacher, clothed with all His faith and all His virtues, how the circle of Life's ills and trials would be narrowed! The sensual passions would assail the heart in vain. Want would no longer successfully tempt men to act wrongly, nor curiosity to do rashly. Ambition, spreading before men its Kingdoms and its Thrones, and offices and honors, would cause none to swerve from their great allegiance. Injury and insult would be shamed by forgiveness. "Father," men would say, "forgive them; for they know not what they do." None would seek to be enriched at another's loss or expense. Every man would feel that the whole human race were his brothers. All sorrow and pain and anguish would be soothed by a perfect faith and an entire trust in the Infinite Goodness of God. The world around us would be new, and the Heavens above us; for here, and there, and everywhere, through all the ample glories and splendors of the Universe, all men would recognize and feel the presence and the beneficent care of a loving Father.

However the Mason may believe as to creeds, and churches, and miracles, and missions from Heaven, he must admit that the Life and character of Him who taught in Galilee, and fragments of Whose teachings have come down to us, are worthy of all imitation. That Life is an undenied and undeniable Gospel. Its teachings cannot be passed by and discarded. All must admit that it would be happiness to follow and perfection to imitate Him. None ever felt for Him a sincere emotion of contempt, nor in anger accused Him of sophistry, nor saw immorality lurking in His doctrines; however they may judge of those who succeeded Him, and claimed to be His apostles. Divine or human, inspired or only a reforming Essene, it must be agreed that His teachings are far nobler, far purer, far less alloyed with error and imperfection, far less of the earth earthly, than those of Socrates, Plato, Seneca, or Mahomet, or any other of the great moralists and Reformers of the world.

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If our aims went as completely as His beyond personal care and selfish gratification; if our thoughts and words and actions were as entirely employed upon the great work of benefiting our kind – the true work which we have been placed here to do – as His were; if our nature were as gentle and as tender as His; and if society, country, kindred, friendship, and home were as dear to us as they were to Him, we should be at once relieved of more than half the difficulties and the diseased and painful affections of our lives. Simple obedience to rectitude, instead of self-interest; simple self-culture and self-improvement, instead of constant cultivation of the good opinion of others; single-hearted aims and purposes, instead of improper objects, sought and approached by devious and crooked ways, would free our meditations of many disturbing and irritating questions.

Not to renounce the nobler and better affections of our natures, nor happiness, nor our just dues of love and honor from men; not to vilify ourselves, nor to renounce our self-respect, nor a just and reasonable sense of our merits and deserts, nor our own righteousness of virtue, does Masonry require, nor would our imitation of Him require; but to renounce our vices, our faults, our passions, our self-flattering delusions; to forego all outward advantages, which are to be gained only through a sacrifice of our inward integrity, or by anxious and petty contrivances and appliances; to choose and keep the better part; to secure that, and let the worst take care of itself; to keep a good conscience, and let opinion come and go as it will; to retain a lofty self-respect, and let low self-indulgence go; to keep inward happiness, and let outward advantages hold a subordinate place; to renounce our selfishness, and that eternal anxiety as to what we are to have, and what men think of us; and be content with the plenitude of God's great mercies, and so to be happy. For it is the inordinate devotion to self, and consideration of self, that is ever a stumbling-block in the way; that spreads questions, snares, and difficulties around us, darkens the way of Providence, and makes the world a far less happy one to us than it might be.

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As He taught, so Masonry teaches, affection to our kindred, tenderness to our friends, gentleness and forbearance toward our inferiors, pity for the suffering, forgiveness of our enemies; and to wear an affectionate nature and gentle disposition as the garment of our life, investing pain, and toil, and agony, and even death, with a serene and holy beauty. It does not teach us to wrap ourselves in the garments of reserve and pride, to care nothing for the world because it cares nothing for us, to withdraw our thoughts from society because it does us not justice, and see how patiently we can live within the confines of our own bosoms, or in quiet communion, through books, with the mighty dead. No man ever found peace or light in that way. Every relation, of hate, scorn, or neglect, to mankind, is full of vexation and torment. There is nothing to do with men but to love them, to admire their virtues, pity and bear with their faults, and forgive their injuries. To hate your adversary will not help you; to kill him will help you still less: nothing within the compass of the Universe will help you, but to pity, forgive, and love him.

If we possessed His gentle and affectionate disposition, His love and compassion for all that err and all that offend, how many difficulties, both within and without us, would they relieve! How many depressed minds should we console! How many troubles in society should we compose! How many enmities soften! How many a knot of mystery and misunderstanding would be untied by a single word, spoken in simple and confiding truth! How many a rough path would be made smooth, and how many a crooked path be made straight! Very many places, now solitary, would be made glad; very many dark places be filled with light.

Morality has its axioms, like the other sciences; and these axioms are, in all languages, justly termed moral truths. Moral truths, considered in themselves, are equally as certain as mathematical truths. Given the idea of a deposit, the idea of keeping it faithfully is attached to it as necessarily, as to the idea of q, triangle is attached the idea that its three angles are equal to two right angles. You may violate a deposit; but in doing so, do not imagine that you change the nature of things, or make what is in itself a deposit become your own property. The two ideas exclude each other. You have but a false semblance of property: and all the efforts of the passions, all the sophisms of interest, will not overturn essential differences. Therefore it is that a moral truth is so imperious; because, like all truth, it is what it is, and shapes itself to please no caprice. Always the same, and always present, little as we may like it, it inexorably condemns, with a voice always heard, but not always regarded, the insensate and guilty will which thinks to prevent its existing, by denying, or rather by pretending to deny, its existence.

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The moral truths are distinguished from other truths by this singular characteristic: so soon as we perceive them, they appear to us as the rule of our conduct. If it is true that a deposit is made in order to be returned to its legitimate possessor, it must be returned. To the necessity of believing the truth, the necessity of practising it is added.

The necessity of practising the moral truths is obligation. The moral truths, necessary to the eye of reason, are obligatory on the will. The moral obligation, like the moral truth which is its basis, is absolute. As necessary truths are not more or less necessary, so obligation is not more or less obligatory. There are degrees of importance among different obligations; but there are no degrees in the obligation itself. One is not nearly obliged, almost obliged; but wholly so, or not at all. If there be any place of refuge against the obligation, it ceases to exist.

If the obligation is absolute, it is immutable and universal. For if what is obligation to-day may not be so to-morrow, if what is obligatory for me may not be so foryou, the obligation differing from itself, it would be relative and contingent. This fact of absolute, immutable, universal obligation is certain and manifest. The good is the foundation of obligation. If it be not, obligation has no foundation; and that is impossible. If one act ought to be done, and another ought not, it must be because evidently there is an essential difference between the two acts. If one be not good and the other bad, the obligation imposed on us is arbitrary.

To make the Good a consequence, of anything whatever, is to annihilate it. It is the first, or it is nothing. When we ask an honest man why, despite his urgent necessities, he has respected the sanctity of a deposit, he answers, because it was his duty. Asked why it was his duty, he answers, because it was right, was just, was good. Beyond that there is no answer to be made, but there is also no question to be asked. No one permits a duty to be imposed on him without giving himself a reason for it: but when it is admitted that the duty is commanded by justice, the mind is satisfied; for it has arrived at a principle beyond which there is nothing to seek, justice being its own principle. The primary truths include their own reason: and justice, the essential distinction between good and evil, is the first truth of morality.

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Justice is not a consequence; because we cannot ascend to any principle above it. Moral truth forces itself on man, and does not emanate from him. It no more becomes subjective, by appearing to us obligatory, than truth does by appearing to us necessary. It is in the very nature of the true and the good that we must seek for the reason of necessity and obligation. Obligation is founded on the necessary distinction between the good and the evil; and it is itself the foundation of liberty. If man has his duties to perform, he must have the faculty of accomplishing them, of resisting desire, passion, and interest, in order to obey the law. He must be free; therefore he is so, or human nature is in contradiction with itself. The certainty of the obligation involves the corresponding certainty of free will.

It is the will that is free: though sometimes that will may be ineffectual. The power to do must not be confounded with the power to will. The former may be limited: the latter is sovereign. The external effects may be prevented: the resolution itself cannot. Of this sovereign power of the will we are conscious. We feel in ourselves, before it becomes determinate, the force which can determine itself in one way or another. At the same time when I will this or that, I am equally conscious that I can will the contrary. I am conscious that I am the master of my resolution: that I may check it, continue it, retake it. When the act has ceased, the consciousness of the power which produced if has not. That consciousness and the power remain, superior to all the manifestations of the power. Wherefore free-will is the essential and ever-subsisting attribute of the will itself.

At the same time that we judge that a free agent has done a good or a bad act, we form another judgment, as necessary as the first; that if he has done well, he deserves compensation; if ill, punishment. That judgment may be expressed in a manner more or less vivid, according as it is mingled with sentiments more or less ardent. Sometimes it will be a merely kind feeling toward a virtuous agent, and moderately hostile to a guilty one; sometimes enthusiasm or indignation. The judgment of merit and demerit is intimately connected with the judgment of good and evil. Merit is the natural right which we have to be rewarded; demerit the natural right which others have to punish us. But whether the reward is received, or the punishment undergone, or not, the merit or demerit equally subsists. Punishment and reward are the satisfaction of merit and demerit, but do not constitute them. Take away the former, and the latter continue. Take away the latter, and there are no longer real rewards or punishments. When a base man encompasses our merited honors, he has obtained but the mere appearance of a reward; a mere material advantage. The reward is essentially moral; and its value is independent of its form. One of those simple crowns of oak with which the early Romans rewarded heroism, was of more real value than all the wealth of the world, when it was the sign of the gratitude and admiration of a people. Reward accorded to merit is a debt; without merit it is an alms or a theft.

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The Good is good in itself, and to be accomplished, whatever the consequences. The results of the Good cannot but be fortunate. Happiness, separated from the Good, is but a fact to which no moral idea is attached. As an effect of the Good, it enters into the moral order, completes and crowns it.

Virtue without happiness, and crime without misery, is a contradiction and disorder. If virtue suppose sacrifice (that is, suffering), eternal justice requires that sacrifice generously accepted and courageously borne, shall have for its reward the same happiness that was sacrificed: and it also requires that crime shall be punished with unhappiness, for the guilty happiness which it attempted to procure.

This law that attaches pleasure and sorrow to the good and the evil, is, in general, accomplished even here below. For order rules in the world; because the world lasts. Is that order sometimes disturbed? Are happiness and sorrow not always distributed in legitimate proportion to crime and virtue? The absolute judgment of the Good, the absolute judgment of obligation, the absolute judgment of merit and demerit, continue to subsist, inviolable and imprescriptible; and we cannot help but believe that He Who has implanted in us the sentiment and idea of order, cannot therein Himself be wanting; and that He will, sooner or later, re-establish the holy harmony of virtue and happiness, by means belonging to Himself.

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The Judgment of the Good, the decision that such a thing is goad, and that such another is not, – this is the primitive fact, and reposes on itself. By its intimate resemblances to the judgment of the true and the beautiful, it shows us the secret affinities of morality, metaphysics, and esthetics. The good, so especially united to the true, is distinguished from it, only because it is truth put in practice. The good is obligatory. These are two indivisible but not identical ideas. The idea of obligation reposes on the idea of the Good. In this intimate alliance, the former borrows from the latter its universal and absolute character.

The obligatory good is the moral law. That is the foundation of all morality. By it we separate ourselves from the morality of interest and the morality of sentiment. We admit the existence of those facts, and their influence; but we do not assign them the same rank.

To the moral law, in the reason of man, corresponds liberty in action. Liberty is deduced from obligation, and is a fact irresistibly evident. Man, as free, and subject to obligation, is a moral person; and that involves the idea of rights. To these ideas is added that of merit and demerit; which supposes the distinction between good and evil, obligation and liberty; and creates the idea of reward and punishment.

The sentiments play no unimportant part in morality. All the moral judgments are accompanied by sentiments that respond to them. From the secret sources of enthusiasm the human will draws the mysterious virtue that makes heroes. Truth enlightens and illumines. Sentiment warms and inclines to action. Interest also bears its part; and the hope of happiness is the work of God, and one of the motive powers of human action.

Such is the admirable economy of the moral constitution of man. His Supreme Object, the Good: his law, Virtue, which often imposes upon him suffering, thus making him to excel all other created beings known to us. But this law is harsh, and in contradiction with the instinctive desire for happiness. Wherefore the Beneficent Author of his being has placed in his soul, by the side of the severe law of duty, the sweet, delightful force of sentiment. Generally he attaches happiness to virtue; and for the exceptions, for such there are, he has placed Hope at the end of the journey to be travelled.

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Thus there is a side on which morality touches religion. It is a sublime necessity of Humanity to see in God the Legislator supremely wise, the Witness always present, the infallible judge of virtue. The human mind, ever climbing up to God, would deem the foundations of morality too unstable, if it did not place in God the first principle of the moral law. Wishing to give to the moral law a religious character, we run the risk of taking from it its moral character. We may refer it so entirely to God as to make His will an arbitrary degree. But the will of God, whence we deduce morality, in order to give it authority, itself has no moral authority, except as it is just. The Good comes from the will of God alone; but from His will, in so far as it is the expression of His wisdom and justice. The Eternal Justice of God is the sole foundation of Justice, such as Humanity perceives and practises it. The Good, duty, merit and demerit, are referred to God, as everything is referred to him; but they have none the less a proper evidence and authority. Religion is the crown of Morality, not its base. The base of Morality is in itself.

The Moral Code of Masonry is still more extensive than that developed by philosophy. To the requisitions of the law of Nature and the law of God, it adds the imperative obligation of a con-tract. Upon entering the Order, the Initiate binds to himself every Mason in the world. Once enrolled among the children of Light, every Mason on earth becomes his brother, and owes him the duties, the kindnesses, and the sympathies of a brother. On every one he may call for assistance in need, protection against danger, sympathy in sorrow, attention in sickness, and decent burial after death. There is not a Mason in the world who is not bound to go to his relief, when he is in danger, if there be a greater probability of saving his life than of losing his own. No Mason can wrong him to the value of anything, knowingly, himself, nor suffer it to be done by others, if it be in his power to prevent it. No Mason can speak evil of him, to his face or behind his back. Every Mason must keep his lawful secrets, and aid him in his business, defend his character when unjustly assailed, and protect, counsel, and assist his widow and his orphans. What so many thousands owe to him, he owes to each of them. He has solemnly bound himself to be ever ready to discharge this sacred debt. If he fails to do it he is dishonest and forsworn; and it is an unparalleled meanness in him to obtain good offices by false pretences, to receive kindness and service, rendered him under the confident expectation that he will in his turn render the same, and then to disappoint, without ample reason, that just expectation.

Masonry holds him also, by his solemn promise, to a purer life, a nobler generosity, a more perfect charity of opinion and action; to be tolerant, catholic in his love for his race, ardent in his zeal for the interest of mankind, the advancement and progress of humanity.

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Such are, we think, the Philosophy and the Morality, such the TRUE WORD of a Master Mason.

The world, the ancients believed, was governed by Seven Secondary Causes; and these were the universal forces, known to the Hebrews by the plural name ELOHIM. These forces, analogous and contrary one to the other, produce equilibrium by their contrasts, and regulate the movements of the spheres. The Hebrews called them the Seven great Archangels, and gave them names, each of which, being a combination of another word with AL, the first Phœnician Nature-God, considered as the Principle of Light, represented them as His manifestations. Other peoples assigned to these Spirits the government of the Seven Planets then known, and gave them the names of their great divinities.

So, in the Kabala, the last Seven Sephiroth constituted ATIK YOMIN, the Ancient of Days; and these, as well as the Seven planets, correspond with the Seven colors separated by the prism, and the Seven notes of the musical octave.

Seven is the sacred number in all theogonies and all symbols, because it is composed of 3 and 4. It represents the magical. power in its full force. It is the Spirit assisted by all the Elementary Powers, the Soul served by Nature, the Holy Empire spoken of in the clavicules of Solomon, symbolized by a warrior, crowned, bearing a triangle on his cuirass, and standing on a cube, to which are harnessed two Sphinxes, one white and the other black, pulling contrary ways, and turning the head to look backward.

The vices are Seven, like the virtues; and the latter were anciently symbolized by the Seven Celestial bodies then known as planets. FAITH, as the converse of arrogant Confidence, was represented by the Sun; HOPE, enemy of Avarice, by the Moon; CHARITY, opposed to Luxury, by Venus; FORCE, stronger than Rage, by Mars; PRUDENCE, the opposite of Indolence, by Mercury; TEMPERANCE, the antipodes of Gluttony, by Saturn; and JUSTICE, the opposite of Envy, by Jupiter.

The Kabalistic book of the Apocalypse is represented as closed with Seven Seals. In it we find the Seven genii of the Ancient Mythologies; and the doctrine concealed under its emblems is the pure Kabala, already lost by the Pharisees at the advent of the Saviour. The pictures that follow in this wondrous epic are so many pantacles, of which the numbers 3, 4, 7, and 12 are the keys.

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The Cherub, or symbolic bull, which Moses places at the gate of the Edenic world, holding a blazing sword, is a Sphinx, with the body of a bull and a human head; the old Assyrian Sphinx whereof the combat and victory of Mithras were the hieroglyphic analysis. This armed Sphinx represents the law of the Mystery, which keeps watch at the door of initiation, to repulse the Profane. It also represents the grand Magical Mystery, all the elements whereof the number 7 expresses, still without giving its last word. This "unspeakable word" of the Sages of the school of Alexandria, this word, which the Hebrew Kabalists wrote; יהוה [IHUH], and translated by אראריתא, [ARARITA,] so expressing the threefoldness of the Secondary Principle, the dualism of the middle ones, and the Unity as well of the first Principle as of the end; and also the junction of the number 3 with the number 4 in a word composed of four letters, but formed of seven by one triplicate and two repeated, – this word is pronounced Ararita.

The vowels in the Greek language are also Seven in number, and were used to designate the Seven planets.

Tsadok or Sydyc was the Supreme God in Phœnicia. His Seven Sons were probably the Seven Cabiri; and he was the Heptaktis, the God of Seven Rays.

Kronos, the Greek Saturn, Philo makes Sanchoniathon say, had six sons, and by Astarte Seven daughters, the Titanides. The Persians adored Ahura Masda or Ormuzd and the Six Amshaspands, the first three of whom were Lords of the Empires of Light, Fire, and Splendor; the Babylonians, Bal and the Gods; the Chinese, Shangti, and the Six Chief Spirits; and the Greeks, Kronos, and the Six great Male Gods, his progeny, Zeus, Poseidon, Apollo, Arēs, Hēphaistos, and Hermes; while the female deities were also Seven: Rhea, wife of Kronos, Hērē, Athēnē, Artemis, Aphroditē, Hestia, and Dēmētēi. In the Orphic Theogony, Gaia produced the fourteen Titans, Seven male and Seven female, Kronos being the most potent of the males; and as the number Seven appears in these, nine by threes, or the triple triangle, is found in the three Mœraê or Fates, the three Centimanēs, and the three Cyclopēs, offspring of Ouranos and Gaia, or Heaven and Earth.

The metals, like the colors, were deemed to be Seven in number, and a metal and color were assigned to each planet. Of the metals, gold was assigned to the Sun and silver to the Moon.

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The palace of Deioces in Ecbatana had Seven circular walls of different colors, the two innermost having their battlements covered respectively with silvering and gilding.

And the Seven Spheres of Borsippa were represented by the Seven Stories, each of a different color, of the tower or truncated pyramid of Bel at Babylon.

Pharaoh saw in his dream, which Joseph interpreted, Seven ears of wheat on one stalk, full and good, and after them Seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the East wind; and the Seven thin ears devoured the Seven good ears; and Joseph interpreted these to mean Seven years of plenty succeeded by Seven years of famine.

Connected with this Ebn Hesham relates that a flood of rain laid bare to view a sepulchre in Yemen, in which lay a woman having on her neck Seven collars ofpearls, and on her hands and feet bracelets and ankle-rings and armlets, Seven on each, with an inscription on a tablet showing that, after attempting in vain to purchase grain of Joseph, she, Tajah, daughter of Dzu Shefar, and her people, died of famine.

Hear again the words of an adept, who had profoundly studied the mysteries of science, and wrote, as the Ancient Oracles spoke, in enigmas; but who knew that the theory of mechanical forces and of the materiality of the most potent agents of Divinity, explains nothing, and ought to satisfy no one!

Through the veil of all the hieratic and mystic allegories of the ancient dogmas, under the seal of all the sacred writings, in the ruins of Nineveh or Thebes, on the worn stones of the ancient temples, and on the blackened face of the sphinx of Assyria or Egypt, in the monstrous or marvellous pictures which the sacred pages of the Vedas translate for the believers of India, in the strange emblems of our old books of alchemy, in the ceremonies of reception practised by all the mysterious Societies, we find the traces of a doctrine, everywhere the same, and everywhere carefully concealed. The occult philosophy seems to have been the nurse or the godmother of all religions, the secret lever of all the intellectual forces, the key of all divine obscurities, and the absolute Queen of Society, in the ages when it was exclusively reserved for the education of the Priests and Kings.

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It had reigned in Persia with the Magi, who perished one day, as the masters of the world had perished, for having abused their power. It had endowed India with the most marvellous traditions, and an incredible luxury of poetry, grace, and terror in its emblems: it had civilized Greece by the sounds of the lyre of Orpheus: it hid the principles of all the sciences, and of the whole progression of the human spirit, in the audacious calculations of Pythagoras: fable teemed with its miracles; and history, when it undertook to judge of this unknown power, confounded itself with fable: it shook or enfeebled empires by its oracles; made tyrants turn pale on their thrones, and ruled over all minds by means of curiosity or fear. To this science, said the crowd, nothing is impossible; it commands the elements, knows the language of the planets, and controls the movements of the stars; the moon, at its voice, falls, reeking with blood, from Heaven; the dead rise upright on their graves, and shape into fatal words the wind that breathes through their skulls. Controller of Love or Hate, this science can at pleasure confer on human hearts Paradise or Hell: it disposes at will of all forms, and distributes beauty or deformity as it pleases: it changes in turn, with the rod of Circe, men into brutes and animals into men: it even disposes of Life or of Death, and can bestow on its adepts riches by the transmutation of metals, and immortality by its quintessence and elixir, compounded of gold and light.

This is what magic had been, from Zoroaster to Manes, from Orpheus to Apollonius Thyaneus; when positive Christianity, triumphing over the splendid dreams and gigantic aspirations of the school of Alexandria, publicly crushed this philosophy with its anathemas, and compelled it to become more occult and more mysterious than ever.

At the bottom of magic, nevertheless, was science, as at the bottom of Christianity there was love; and in the Evangelic Symbols we see the incarnate WORD adored in its infancy by three magi whom a star guides (the ternary and the sign of the microcosm), and receiving from them gold frankincense, and myrrh; another mysterious ternary, under the emblem whereof are allegorically contained the highest secrets of the Kabala.

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Christianity should not have hated magic; but human ignorance always fears the unknown. Science was obliged to conceal itself, to avoid the impassioned aggressions of a blind love. It enveloped itself in new hieroglyphs, concealed its efforts, disguised its hopes. Then was created the jargon of alchemy, a continual deception for the vulgar herd, greedy of gold, and a living language for the true disciples of Hermes alone.

Resorting to Masonry, the alchemists there invented Degrees, and partly unveiled their doctrine to their Initiates; not by the language of their receptions, but by oral instruction afterward; for their rituals, to one who has not the key, are but incomprehensible and absurd jargon.

Among the sacred books of the Christians are two works which the infallible church does not pretend to understand, and never attempts to explain, – the prophecy of Ezekiel and the Apocalypse; two cabalistic clavicules, reserved, no doubt, in Heaven, for the exposition of the Magian kings; closed with Seven seals for all faithful believers; and perfectly clear to the unbeliever initiated in the occult sciences.

For Christians, and in their opinion, the scientific and magical clavicules of Solomon are lost. Nevertheless, it is certain that, in the domain of intelligence governed by the WORD, nothing that is written is lost. Only those things which men cease to understand no longer exist for them, at least as WORD; then they enter into the domain of enigmas and mystery.

The mysterious founder of the Christian Church was saluted in His cradle by the three Magi, that is to say by the hieratic ambassadors from the three parts of the known world, and from the three analogical worlds of the occult philosophy.

In the school of Alexandria, Magic and Christianity almost take each other by the hand under the auspices of Ammonius Saccos and Plato. The dogma of Hermes is found almost entire in the writings attributed to Dionysius the Areopagite. Synesius traces the plan of a treatise on dreams, which was subsequently to be commented on by Cardan, and composes hymns which might serve for the liturgy of the Church of Swedenborg, if a church of illuminati could have a liturgy.

To this epoch of ardent abstractions and impassioned logomachies belongs the philosophical reign of Julian, an illuminatus and Initiate of the first order, who believed in the unity of God and the universal Dogma of the Trinity, and regretted the loss of nothing of the old world but its magnificent symbols and too graceful images. He was no Pagan, but a Gnostic, infected with the allegories of Grecian polytheism, and whose misfortune it was to find the name of Jesus Christ less sonorous than that of Orpheus.

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We may be sure that so soon as Religion and Philosophy become distinct departments, the mental activity of the age is in advance of its Faith; and that, though habit may sustain the latter for a time, its vitality is gone.

The dunces who led primitive Christianity astray, by substituting faith for science, reverie for experience, the fantastic for the reality; and the inquisitors who for so many ages waged against Magism a war of extermination, have succeeded in shrouding in darkness the ancient discoveries of the human mind; so that we now grope in the dark to find again the key of the phenomena of nature. But all natural phenomena depend on a single and immutable law, represented by the philosophal stone and its symbolic form, which is that of a cube. This law, expressed in the Kabala by the number 4, furnished the Hebrews with all the mysteries of their divine Tetragram.

Everything is contained in that word of four letters. It is the Azot of the Alchemists, the Thot of the Bohemians, the Taro of the Kabalists. It supplies to the Adept the last word of the human Sciences, and the Key of the Divine Power: but he alone understands how to avail himself of it who comprehends the necessity of never revealing it. If Œdipus, in place of slaying the Sphynx, had conquered it, and driven it into Thebes harnessed to his chariot, he would have been King, without incest, calamities, or exile. If Psyche, by submission and caresses, had persuaded Love to reveal himself, she would never have lost him. Love is one of the mythological images of the grand secret and the grand agent, because it expresses at once an action and a passion, a void and a plenitude, an arrow and a wound. The Initiates ought to understand this, and, lest the profane should overhear, Masonry never says too much.

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When Science had been overcome in Alexandria by the fanaticism of the murderers of Hypatia, it became Christian, or, rather, it concealed itself under Christian disguises, with Ammonius, Synosius, and the author of the books of Dionysius the Areopagite. Then it was necessary to win the pardon of miracles by the appearances of superstition, and of science by a language unintelligible. Hieroglyphic writing was revived, and pantacles and characters were invented, that summed up a whole doctrine in a sign, a whole series of tendencies and revelations in a word. What was the object of the aspirants to knowledge? They sought for the secret of the great work, or the Philosophal Stone, or the perpetual motion, or the squaring of the circle, or the universal medicine; formulas which often saved them from persecution and general ill-will, by exposing them to the charge of folly; and each of which expressed one of the forces of the grand magical secret. This lasted until the time of the Roman de la Rose, which also expresses the mysterious and magical meaning of the poem of Dante, borrowed from the High Kabalah, that immense and concealed source of the universal philosophy.

It is not strange that man knows but little of the powers of the human will, and imperfectly appreciates them; since he knows nothing as to the nature of the will and its mode of operation. That his own will can move his arm, or compel another to obey him; that his thoughts, symbolically expressed by the signs of writing, can influence and lead other men, are mysteries as incomprehensible to him, as that the will of Deity could effect the creation of a Universe.

The powers of the will are as yet chiefly indefinite and unknown. Whether a multitude of well-established phenomena are to be ascribed to the power of the will alone, or to magnetism or some other natural agent, is a point as yet unsettled; but it is agreed by all that a concentrated effort of the will is in every case necessary to success.

That the phenomena are real is not to be doubted, unless credit is no longer to be given to human testimony; and if they are real, there is no reason for doubting the exercise heretofore, by many adepts, of the powers that were then termed magical. Nothing is better vouched for than the extraordinary performances of the Brahmins. No religion is supported by stronger testimony; nor has any one ever even attempted to explain what may well be termed their miracles.

How far, in this life, the mind and soul can act without and in-dependently of the body, no one as yet knows. That the will can act at all without bodily contact, and the phenomena of dreams, are mysteries that confound the wisest and most learned, whose explanations are but a Babel of words.

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Man as yet knows little of the forces of nature. Surrounded, controlled, and governed by them, while he vainly thinks himself independent, not only of his race, but the universal nature and her infinite manifold forces, he is the slave of these forces, unless he becomes their master. He can neither ignore their existence nor be simply their neighbor.

There is in nature one most potent force, by means whereof a single man, who could possess himself of it, and should know how to direct it, could revolutionize and change the face of the world.

This force was known to the ancients. It is a universal agent, whose Supreme law is equilibrium; and whereby, if science can but learn how to control it, it will be possible to change the order of the Seasons, to produce in night the phenomena of day, to send a thought in an instant round the world, to heal or slay at a distance, to give our words universal success, and make them reverberate everywhere.

This agent, partially revealed by the blind guesses of the disciples of Mesmer, is precisely what the Adepts of the middle ages called the elementary matter of the great work. The Gnostics held that it composed the igneous body of the Holy Spirit; and it was adored in the secret rites of the Sabbat or the Temple, under the hieroglyphic figure of Baphomet or the hermaphroditic goat of Mendes.

There is a Life-Principle of the world, a universal agent, wherein are two natures and a double current, of love and wrath. This ambient fluid penetrates everything. It is a ray detached from the glory of the Sun, and fixed by the weight of the atmosphere and the central attraction. It is the body of the Holy Spirit, the universal Agent, the Serpent devouring his own tail. With this electro-magnetic ether, this vital and luminous caloric, the ancients and the alchemists were familiar. Of this agent, that phase of modern ignorance termed physical science talks incoherently, knowing naught of it save its effects; and theology might apply to it all its pretended definitions of spirit. Quiescent, it is appreciable by no human sense; disturbed or in movement, none can explain its mode of action; and to term it a "fluid," and speak of its "currents," is but to veil a profound ignorance under a cloud of words.

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Force attracts force, life attracts life, health attracts health. It is a law of nature.

If two children live together, and still more if they sleep together, and one is feeble and the other strong, the strong will absorb the feeble, and the latter will perish.

In schools, some pupils absorb the intellect of the others, and in every circle of men some one individual is soon found, who possesses himself of the wills of the others.

Enthralments by currents is very common; and one is carried away by the crowd, in morals as in physics. The human will has an almost absolute power in determining one's acts; and every external demonstration of a will has an influence on external things.

Tissot ascribed most maladies to disorders of the will, or the perverse influences of the wills of others. We become subject to the wills of others by the analogies of our inclinations, and still more by those of our defects. To caress the weaknesses of an individual, is to possess ourself of him, and make of him an instrument in the order of the same errors or depravations. But when two natures, analogical in defects, are subordinated one to the other, there is effected a kind of substitution of the stronger instead of the weaker, and a genuine imprisonment of one mind by the other. Often the weaker struggles, and would fain revolt; and then falls lower than ever in servitude.

We each have some dominant defect, by which the enemy can grasp us. In some it is vanity, in others indolence, in most egotism. Let a cunning and evil spirit possess himself of this, and you are lost. Then you become, not foolish, nor an idiot, but positively a lunatic, the slave of an impulse from without. You have an instinctive horror for everything that could restore you to reason, and will not even listen to representations that contravene your insanity.

Miracles are the natural effects of exceptional causes.

The immediate action of the human will on bodies, or at least this action exercised without visible means, constitutes a miracle in the physical order.

The influence exercised on wills or intellects, suddenly or within a given time, and capable of taking captive the thoughts, changing the firmest resolutions, paralyzing the most violent passions, constitutes a miracle in the moral order.

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The common error in relation to miracles is, to regard them as effects without causes; as contradictions of nature; as sudden fictions of the Divine imagination; and men do not reflect that a single miracle of this sort would break the universal harmony and re-plunge the Universe into Chaos.

There are miracles impossible to God Himself: absurd miracles are so. If God could be absurd for a single instant, neither He nor the Universe would exist an instant afterward. To expect of the Divine Free-Will an effect whose cause is unacknowledged or does not exist, is what is termed tempting God. It is to precipitate one's self into the void.

God acts by His works: in Heaven, by angels; on earth, by men.

In the heaven of human conceptions, it is humanity that creates God; and men think that God has made them in His image, because they make Him in theirs.

The domain of man is all corporeal nature, visible on earth; and if he does not rule the planets or the stars, he can at least calculate their movement, measure their distances, and identify his will with their influence: he can modify the atmosphere, act to a certain point on the seasons, cure and afflict with sickness other men, preserve life and cause death.

The absolute in reason and will is the greatest power which it is given to men to attain; and it is by means of this power that what the multitude admires under the name of miracles, are effected.

POWER is the wise use of the will, which makes Fatality itself serve to accomplish the purposes of Sages.

Omnipotence is the most absolute Liberty; and absolute Liberty cannot exist without a perfect equilibrium; and the columns JACHIN and BOAZ are also the unlimited POWER and SPLENDOR OF PERFECTION of the Deity, the seventh and eighth SEPHIROTH of the Kabalah, from whose equilibrium result the eternal permanence and Stability of His plans and works, and of that perfect Success and undivided, unlimited Dominion, which are the ninth and tenth SEPHIROTH, and of which the Temple of Solomon, in its stately symmetry, erected without the sound of any tool of metal being heard, is to us a symbol. "For Thine," says the Most Perfect of Prayers, "is the DOMINION, the POWER, and the GLORY, during all the ages! Amen!"

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The ABSOLUTE is the very necessity of BEING, the immutable law of Reason and of Truth. It is THAT WHICH IS. BUT THAT WHICH IS is in some sort before HE WHO IS. God Himself is not without a reason of existence. He does not exist accidentally. He could not not have been. His Existence, then, isnecessitated, is necessary. He can exist only in virtue of a Supreme and inevitable REASON. That REASON, then, is THE ABSOLUTE; for it is in IT we must believe, if we would that our faith should have a reasonable and solid basis. It has been said in our times, that God is a Hypothesis; but Absolute Reason is not one: it is essential to Existence.

Saint Thomas said, "A thing is not just because God wills it, BUT GOD WILLS IT BECAUSE IT IS JUST." If he had deduced all the consequences of this fine thought, he would have discovered the true Philosopher's Stone; the magical elixir, to convert all the trials of the world into golden mercies. Precisely as it is a necessity for God to BE, so it is a necessity for Him to be just, loving, and merciful. He cannot be unjust, cruel, merciless. He cannot repeal the law of right and wrong, of merit and demerit; for the moral laws are as absolute as the physical laws. There are impossible things. As it is impossible to make two and two be five and not four; as it is impossible to make a thing be and not be at the same time; so it is impossible for the Deity to make crime a merit, and love and gratitude crimes. So, too, it was impossible to make Man perfect, with his bodily senses and appetites, as it was to make his nerves susceptible of pleasure and not also of pain.

Therefore, according to the idea of Saint Thomas, the moral laws are the enactments of the Divine WILL, only because they are the decisions of the Absolute WISDOM and REASON, and the Revelations of the Divine NATURE. In this alone consists the right of Deity to enact them; and thus only do we attain the certainty in Faith that the Universe is one Harmony.

To believe in the Reason of God, and in the God of Reason, is to make Atheism impossible. It is the Idolaters who have made the Atheists.

Analogy gives the Sage all the forces of Nature. It is the key of the Grand Arcanum, the root of the Tree of Life, the science of Good and Evil.

The Absolute, is REASON. Reason IS, by means of Itself. It IS BECAUSE IT IS, and not because we suppose it. IT IS, where nothing exists; but nothing could possibly exist without IT. Reason is Necessity, Law, the Rule of all Liberty, and the direction of every Initiative. If God IS, HE IS by Reason. The conception of an Absolute Deity, outside of, or independent of, Reason, is the IDOL of Black Magic, the PHANTOM of the Dæmon.

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The Supreme Intelligence is necessarily rational. God, in philosophy, can be no more than a Hypothesis; but a Hypothesis imposed by good sense on Human Reason. To personify the Absolute Reason, is to determine the Divine Ideal.

NECESSITY, LIBERTY, and REASON! Behold the great and Supreme Triangle of the Kabalists!

FATALITY, WILL, and POWER! Such is the magical ternary which, in human things, corresponds with the Divine Triangle.

FATALITY is the inevitable linking together, in succession, of effects and causes, in a given order.

WILL is the faculty that directs the forces of the Intellect, so as to reconcile the liberty of persons with the necessity of things.

The argument from these premises must be made by yourself. Each one of us does that. "Seek," say the Holy Writings, "and ye shall find." Yet discussion is not forbidden; and without doubt the subject will be fully treated of in your hearing hereafter. Affirmation, negation, discussion, – it is by these the truth is attained.

To explore the great Mysteries of the Universe and seek to solve its manifold enigmas, is the chief use of Thought, and constitutes the principal distinction between Man and the animals. Accordingly, in all ages the Intellect has labored to understand and explain to itself the Nature of the Supreme Deity.

That one Reason and one Will created and governed the Universe was too evident not to be at once admitted by the philosophers of all ages. It was the ancientreligions that sought to multiply gods. The Nature of the One Deity, and the mode in which the Universe had its beginning, are questions that have always been the racks in which the human intellect has been tortured: and it is chiefly with these that the Kabalists have dealt.

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It is true that, in one sense, we can have no actual knowledge of the Absolute Itself, the very Deity. Our means of obtaining what is commonly termed actualknowledge, are our senses only. If to see and feel be knowledge, we have none of our own Soul, of electricity, of magnetism. We see and feel and taste an acid or an alkali, and know something of the qualities of each; but it is only when we use them in combination with other substances, and learn their effects, that we really begin to know their nature. It is the combination and experiments of Chemistry that give as a knowledge of the nature and powers of most animal and vegetable substances. As these are cognizable by inspection by our senses, we may partially know them by that alone: but the Soul, either of ourself or of another, being beyond that cognizance, can only be known by the acts and words which are its effects. Magnetism and electricity, when at rest, are equally beyond the jurisdiction of the senses; and when they are in action, we see, feel, hear, taste, and smell only their effects. We do not know what they are, but only what they do. We can know the attributes of Deity only through His manifestations. To ask anything more, is to ask, notknowledge, but something else, for which we have no name. God is a Power; and we know nothing of any Power itself, but only its effects, results, and action, and what Reason teaches us by analogy;

In these later days, in laboring to escape from all material ideas in regard to Deity, we have so refined away our notions of GOD, as to have no idea of Him at all. In struggling to regard Him as a pure immaterial Spirit, we have made the word Spirit synonymous with nothing, and can only say that He is a Somewhat, with certain attributes, such as Power, Wisdom, and Intelligence. To compare Him to LIGHT, would now be deemed not only unphilosophical, but the equivalent of Atheism; and we find it necessary to excuse and pity the ancients for their inadequate and gross ideas of Deity, expressed in considering Him as the Light-Principle, the invisible essence or substance from which visible Light flows.

Yet our own holy writings continually speak of Him as Light; and therefore the Tsabeans and the Kabala may well be pardoned for doing the same; especially since they did not regard Him as the visible Light known to us, but as the Primordial Ether-Ocean from which light flows.

Before the creation, did the Deity dwell alone in the Darkness, or in the Light? Did the Light co-exist with Him, or was it created, after an eternity of darkness? and if it co-existed, was it an effluence from Him, filling all space as He also filled it, He and the Light at the same time filling the same place and every place?

MILTON says, expressing the Hebraic doctrine:

"Hail, Holy Light, offspring of Heaven first-born,
Or of th’ Eternal, co-eternal beam!
May I express thee unblamed, since God is Light.
And never but in unapproached Light
Dwelt from Eternity; dwelt then in Thee,
Bright effluence of bright Essence uncreate."

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"The LIGHT," says the Book Omschim, or Introduction to the Kabala, "Supremest of all things, and most Lofty, and Limitless, and styled INFINITE, can be attained unto by no cogitation or speculation; and its VERY SELF is evidently withdrawn and removed beyond all intellection. It WAS, before all things whatever, produced, created, formed, and made by Emanation; and in it was neither Time, Head, or Beginning; since it always existed, and remains forever, without commencement or end."

"Before the Emanations flowed forth, and created things were created, the Supreme Light was infinitely extended, and filled the whole WHERE; so that with reference to Light no vacuum could be affirmed, nor any unoccupied space; but the ALL was filled with that Light of the Infinite, thus extended, whereto in every regard was no end, inasmuch as nothing was, except that extended Light, which, with a certain single and simple equality, was everywhere like unto itself."

AINSOPH is called Light, says the Introduction to the Sohar, because it is impossible to express it by any other word.

To conceive of God as an actuality, and not as a mere non-substance or name, which involved non-existence, the Kabala, like the Egyptians, imagined Him to be "a most occult Light," AUR; not our material and visible Light, but the Substance out of which Light flows, the fire, as relative to its heat and flame. Of this Light or Ether, the Sun was to the Tsabeans the only manifestation or out-shining, and as such it was worshipped, and not as the type of dominion and power. God was thePhōs Noēton, the Light cognizable only by the Intellect, the Light-Principle, the Light-Ether, from which souls emanate, and to which they return.

Light, Fire, and Flame, with the Phœnicians, were the sons of Kronos. They are the Trinity in the Chaldæan Oracles, the AOR of the Deity, manifested in flame, that issues out of the invisible Fire.

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In the first three Persian Amshaspands, Lords of LIGHT, FIRE, and SPLENDOR, we recognize the AOR, ZOHAR, and ZAYO, Light, Splendor, and Brightness, of the Kabalah. The first of these is termed AOR MUPALA, Wonderful or Hidden Light, unrevealed, undisplayed – which is KETHER, the first Emanation orSephirah, the Will of Deity: the second is NESTAR, Concealed – which is HAKEMAH, the second Sephirah, or the Intellectual Potence of the Deity: and the third is METANOTSATS, coruscating – which is BINAH, the third Sephirah, or the intellectual producing capacity. In other words, they are THE VERY SUBSTANCE of light, in the Deity: Fire, which is that light, limited and furnished with attributes, so that it can be revealed, but yet remains unrevealed, and its splendor or out-shining, or the light that goes out from the fire.

Masonry is a search after Light. That search leads us directly back, as you see, to the Kabalah. In that ancient and little understood medley of absurdity and philosophy, the Initiate will find the source of many doctrines; and may in time come to understand the Hermetic philosophers, the Alchemists, all the Anti-papal Thinkers of the Middle Ages, and Emanuel Swedenborg.

The Hansavati Rich, a celebrated Sanscrit Stanza, says: "He is Hansa (the Sun), dwelling in light; Vasu, the atmosphere dwelling in the firmament; the invoker of the gods (Agni), dwelling on the altar (i.e., the altar fire); the guest (of the worshipper), dwelling in the house (the domestic fire); the dweller amongst men (as consciousness); the dweller in the most excellent orb, (the Sun); the dweller in truth; the dweller in the sky (the air); born in the waters, in the rays of light, in the verity (of manifestation), in the Eastern mountains; the Truth (itself)."

"In the beginning," says a Sanscrit hymn, "arose the Source of golden light. He was the only born Lord of all that is. He established the earth and the sky. Who is the God to Whom we shall offer our sacrifice?"

"He who gives life, He who gives strength; Whose blessing all the bright gods desire; Whose shadow is immortality; Whose shadow is death; Who is the God, etc?"

"He through Whom the sky is bright and the earth for us; He through Whom the Heaven was established, nay, the highest Heaven; He who measured out the light in the air; Who is the God, etc?"

"He to Whom the Heaven and earth, standing firm by His will, look up trembling inwardly; He over Whom the rising sun shines forth; Who is the God, etc?"

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"Wherever the mighty water-clouds went, where they placed the seed and lit the fire, thence arose He Who is the only life of the bright gods; Who is the God, etc?"

The WORD of God, said the Indian philosophy, is the universal 'and invisible Light, cognizable by the senses, that emits its blaze in the Sun, Moon, Planets, and other Stars. Philo calls it the "Universal Light," which loses a portion of its purity and splendor in descending from the intellectual to the sensible world, manifesting itself outwardly from the Deity; and the Kabalah represents that only so much of the Infinite Light flowed into the circular void prepared for creation within the Infinite Light and Wisdom, as could pass by a canal like a line or thread. The Sephiroth, emanating from the Deity, were the rays of His splendor.

The Chaldæan Oracles said: "The intellect of the Generator, stirred to action, out-spoke, forming within itself, by intellection, universals of every possible form and fashion, which issued out, flowing forth from the One Source … For Deity, impersonated as Dominion, before fabricating the manifold Universe, posited an intellected and unchangeable universal, the impression of the form whereof goes forth through the Universe; and that Universe, formed and fashioned accordingly, becomes visibly beautified in infinitely varying types and forms, the Source and fountain whereof is one… Intellectual conceptions and forms from the Generative source, succeeding each other, considered in relation to ever-progressing Time, and intimately partaking of THE PRIMAL ETHER or FIRE; but yet all these Universals and Primal Types and Ideas flowed forth from, and are part of, the first Source of the Generative Power, perfect in itself."

The Chaldæans termed the Supreme Deity ARAOR, Father of Light. From Him was supposed to flow the light above the world, which illuminates the heavenly regions. This Light or Fire was considered as the Symbol of the Divine Essence, extending itself to inferior spiritual natures. Hence the Chaldæan oracles say: "The Father took from Himself, and did not confine His proper fire within His intellectual potency:" . . "All things are begotten from one Fire."

The Tsabeans held that all inferior spiritual beings were emanations from the Supreme Deity; and therefore Proclus says: "The progression of the gods is one and continuous, proceeding downward from the intelligible and latent unities, and terminating in the last partition of the Divine cause."

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It is impossible to speak clearly of the Divinity. Whoever attempts to express His attributes by the help of abstractions, confines himself to negatives, and at once loses sight of his ideas, in wandering through a wilderness of words. To heap Superlatives on Superlatives, and call Him best, wisest, greatest, is but to exaggerate qualities which- are found in man. That there exists one only God, and that He is a Perfect and Beneficent Being, Reason legitimately teaches us; but of the Divine Nature, of the Substance of the Deity, of the manner of His Existence, or of the mode of creation of His Universe, the human mind is inadequate to form any just conception. We can affix no clear ideas to Omnipotence, Omniscience, Infinity or Eternity; and we have no more right to attribute intelligence to Him, than any other mental quality of ourselves, extended indefinitely; or than we have to attribute our senses to Him, and our bodily organs, as the Hebrew writings do.

We satisfy ourselves with negativing in the Deity everything that constitutes existence, so far as we are capable of conceiving of existence. Thus He becomes to us logically nothing, Non-Ens. The Ancients saw no difference between that and Atheism, and sought to conceive of Him as something real. It is a necessity of Human Nature. The theological idea, or rather non-idea, of the Deity, is not shared or appreciated by the unlearned. To them, God will always be The Father Who is in Heaven, a Monarch on His Throne, a Being with human feelings and human sympathies, angry at their misdeeds, lenient if they repent, accessible to their supplications. It is the Humanity, far more than the Divinity, of Christ, that makes the mass of Christians worship Him, far more than they do the Father.

"The Light of the Substance of The Infinite," is the Kabalistic expression. Christ was, according to Saint John, "the Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the. world"; and "that Light was the life of men." "The Light shone in the darkness: and the darkness comprehended it not."

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The ancient ideas in respect to Light were perhaps quite as correct as our own. It does not appear that they ascribed to Light any of the qualities of matter. But modern Science defines it to be a flood of particles of matter, flowing or shot out from the Sun and Stars, and moving through space to come to us. On the theories of mechanism and force, what force of attraction here or repulsion at the Sun or at the most distant Star could draw or drive these impalpable, weightless, infinitely minute particles, appreciably by the Sense of Sight alone, so far through space? What has become of the immense aggregate of particles that have reached the earth since the creation? Have they increased its bulk? Why cannot chemistry detect and analyze them? If matter, why can they travel only in right lines?

No characteristic of matter belongs to Light, or Heat, or flame, or to Galvanism, Electricity, and Magnetism. The electric spark is light, and so is that produced by the flint, when it cuts off particles of steel. Iron, melted or heated, radiates light; and insects, infusoria, and decayed wood emit it. Heat is produced by friction and by pressure; to explain which, Science tells us of latent Caloric, thus representing it to us as existing without its only known distinctive quality. What quality of matter enables lightning, blazing from the Heavens, to rend the oak? What quality of matter enables it to make the circuit of the earth in a score of seconds?

Profoundly ignorant of the nature of these mighty agents of Divine Power, we conceal our ignorance by words that have no meaning; and we might well be asked whyLight may not be an effluence from the Deity, as has been agreed by all the religions of all the Ages of the World.

All truly dogmatic religions have issued from the Kabalah and return to it: everything scientific and grand in the religious dreams of all the illuminati, Jacob Bœhme, Swedenborg, Saint-Martin, and others, is borrowed from the Kabalah; all the Masonic associations owe to it their Secrets and their Symbols.

The Kabalah alone consecrates the alliance of the Universal Reason and the Divine Word; it establishes, by the counterpoises of two forces apparently opposite, the eternal balance of being; it alone reconciles Reason with Faith, Power with Liberty, Science with Mystery; it has the keys of the Present, the Past, and the Future.

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The Bible, with all the allegories it contains, expresses, in an incomplete and veiled manner only, the religious science of the Hebrews. The doctrine of Moses and the Prophets, identical at bottom with that of the ancient Egyptians, also had its outward meaning and its veils. The Hebrew books were written only to recall to memory the traditions; and they were written in Symbols unintelligible to the Profane. The Pentateuch and the prophetic poems were merely elementary books of doctrine, morals, or liturgy; and the hue secret and traditional philosophy was only written afterward, under veils still less transparent. Thus was a second Bible born, unknown to, or rather uncomprehended by, the Christians; a collection, they say, of monstrous absurdities; a monument, the adept says, wherein is everything that the genius of philosophy and that of religion have ever formed or imagined of the sublime; a treasure surrounded by thorns; a diamond concealed in a rough dark stone.

One is filled with admiration, on penetrating into the Sanctuary of the Kabalah, at seeing a doctrine so logical, so simple, and at the same time so absolute. The necessary union of ideas and signs, the consecration of the most fundamental realities by the primitive characters; the Trinity of Words, Letters, and Numbers; a philosophy simple as the alphabet, profound and infinite as the Word; theorems more complete and luminous than those of Pythagoras; a theology summed up by counting on one's fingers; an Infinite which can be held in the hollow of an infant's hand; ten ciphers, and twenty-two letters, a triangle, a square, and a circle, – these are all the elements of the Kabalah. These are the elementary principles of the written Word, reflection of that spoken Word that created the world!

This is the doctrine of the Kabalah, with which you will no doubt seek to make yourself acquainted, as to the Creation.

The Absolute Deity, with the Kabalists, has no name. The terms applied to Him are אור פּשוט, AOR PASOT, the Most Simple [or Pure] Light, "called, אין סוף, AYEN SOPH, or INFINITE, before any Emanation. For then there was no space or vacant place, but all was infinite Light."

Before the Deity created any Ideal, any limited and intelligible Nature, or any form whatever, He was alone, and without form or similitude, and there could be no cognition or comprehension of Him in any wise. He was without Idea or Figure, and it is forbidden to form any Idea or Figure of Him, neither by the letter He (ה), nor by the letter Yōd (י), though these are contained in the Holy Name; nor by any other letter or point in the world.

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But after He created this Idea [this limited and existing-in-intellection Nature, which the ten Numerations, SEPHIROTH or Rays are], of the Medium, the First Man ADAM KADMON, He descended therein, that, by means of this Idea, He might be called by the name TETRAGRAMMATON; that created things might have cognition of Him, in His own likeness.

When the Infinite God willed to emit what were to flow forth, He contracted Himself in the centre of His light, in such manner that that most intense light should recede to a certain circumference, and on all sides upon itself. And this is the first contraction, and termed צמצם Tsemsum.

אדם קדמון, ADAM KADMON, the Primal or First Man, is the first Aziluthic emanant from the Infinite Light, immitted into the evacuated Space, and from which, afterward, all the other degrees and systems had their beginnings. It is. called the Adam prior to all the first. In it are imparted ten spherical numerations; and thereafter issued forth the rectilinear figure of a man in his sephirothic decade, as it were the diameter of the said circles; as it were the axis of these spheres, reaching from their highest point to their lowest; and from it depend all the systems.

But now, as the Infinite Light would be too excellent and great to be borne and endured, except through the medium of this Adam Kadmon, its most Secret Nature preventing this, its illuminating light had again to emanate in streams out of itself, by certain apertures, as it were, like windows, and which are termed the ears, eyes, nostrils, and mouth.

The light proceeding from this Adam Kadmon is indeed but one; but in proportion to its remoteness from the place of out-flowing, and to the grades of its descent, it is more dense.

From the word אצל, ATSIL, to emanate or flow forth, comes the word אצילות, ATSILOTH or Aziluth, Emanation, or the System of Emanants. When the primal space was evacuated, the surrounding Light of the Infinite, and the Light immitted into the void, did not touch each other; but the Light of the Infinite flowed into that void through a line or certain slender canal; and that Light is the Emanative and emitting Principle, or the out-flow and origin of Emanation: but the Light within the void is the emanant subordinate; and the two cohere only by means of the aforesaid line.

Aziluth means specifically and principally the first system of the four Olamoth [עלמות], worlds or systems; which is thence called the Aziluthic World.

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The ten Sephiroth of the general Aziluthic system are ten Nekudoth or Points.

אינזף AINSOPH, AENSOPH, or AYENSOPH, is the title of the Cause of Causes, its meaning being "endless," because there is no limit to Its loftiness, and nothing can comprehend it. Sometimes, also, the name is applied to KETHER, or the CROWN, the first emanation, because that is the Throne of the Infinite, that is, its first and highest Seat, than which none is higher, and because Ainsoph resides and is concealed therein: hence it rejoices in the same name.

Before that anything was, says the Emech Hammelech, He, of His mere will, proposed to Himself to make worlds … but at that time there was no vacant space for worlds; but all space was filled with the light of His Substance, which He had with fixed limits placed in the centre of Himself, and of the parts whereof, and wherein, He was thereafter to effect a folding together.

What then did the Lord of the Will, that most perfectly free Agent, do? By His own estimation, He measured off within His own Substance the width and length of a circular space to be made vacant, and wherein might be posited the worlds aforesaid; and of that Light which was included within the circle so measured, He compressed and folded over a certain portion … and that Light He lifted higher up, and so a place was left unoccupied by the Primal Light.

But yet was not this space left altogether empty of that Light; for the vestiges of the Primal Light still remained in the place where Itself had been; and they did not recede therefrom.

Before the Emanations out-flowed, and created things were created, the Supreme Light was infinitely extended, and filled the whole Where: nothing was, except that extended light, called AOR H’ AINSOPH, the Light of the non-finite.

When it came into the mind of the Extended to will to make worlds, and by forth-flowing to utter Emanations, and to emit as Light the perfection of His active powers, and of His aspects and attributes, which was the impelling cause of the creation of worlds; then that Light, in some measure compressed, receded in every direction from a particular central point, and on all sides of it drew back, and so a certain vacuum was left, called void space, its circumference everywhere equidistant from that point which was exactly in the centre of the space … a certain void place and space left in Mid-Infinite: a certain Where was thereby constituted wherein Emanations might BE, and the Created, the Fashioned and the Fabricated.

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This world of the garmenting, – this circular vacant space, with the vestiges of the withdrawn light of the Infinite yet remaining, is the inmost garment, nearest to His substance; and to it belongs the name AOR PENAI-AL, Light of the Countenance of God.

An interspace surrounds this great circle, established between the light of the very substance, surrounding the circle on its outside, and the substance contained withinthe circle. This is called SPLENDOR EXCELSUS, in contradistinction to Simple Splendor.

This light "of the vestige of the garment," is said to be, relatively to that of the vestige of the substance, like a point in the centre of a circle. This light, a point in the centre of the Great Light, is called Auir, Ether, or Space.

This Ether is somewhat more gross than the Light – not so Subtle – though not perceptible by the Senses – is termed the Primal Ether – extends everywhere; Philosophers call it the Soul of the World.

The Light so forth-shown from the Deity, cannot be said to be severed or diverse from Him. "It is flashed forth from Him, and yet all continues to be perfect unity … The Sephiroth, sometimes called the Persons of the Deity, are His rays, by which He is enabled most perfectly to manifest Himself.

The Introduction to the Book SONAR says:

The first compression was effected, in order that the Primal Light might be upraised, and a space become vacant. The second compression occurred when the vestiges of the removed Light remaining were compressed into points; and that compression was effected by means of the emotion of joy; the Deity rejoicing, it had already been said, on account of His Holy People, thereafter to come into being; and that joy being vehement, and a commotion and exhilaration in the Deity being caused by it, so that He flowed forth in His delight; and of this commotion an abstract power of judgment being generated, which is a collection of the letters generated by the points of the vestiges of Light left within the circle. For He writes the finite expressions, or limited manifestations of Himself upon the Book, in single letters.

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Like as when water or fire, it had been said, is blown upon by the wind, it is wont to be greatly moved, and with flashes like lightning to smite the eyes, and gleam and coruscate hither and thither, even so The Infinite was moved within Himself, and shone and coruscated in that circle, from the centre outward and again to the centre: and that commotion we term exhilaration; and from that exhilaration, variously divided within Himself, was generated the potency of determining the fashioning of the letters.

Of that exhilaration, it had also been said, was generated the determination of forms, by which determination the Infinite determined them within Himself, as if by saying: "Let this Sphere be the appointed place, wherein let all worlds be created!"

He, by radiating and coruscating, effected the points, so that their sparkling should smite the eyes like lightning. Then He combined diversely the single points, untilletters were fashioned thereof, in the similitude and image of those wherewith THE BLESSED had set forth the decrees of His Wisdom.

It is not possible to attain to an understanding of the creation of man, except by the mystery of letters; and in these worlds of The Infinite is nothing, except the letters of the Alphabet and their combinations. All the worlds are Letters and Names; but He Who is the Author of all, has no name.

This world of the covering [or garment – vestimenti], [that is, the circular vacant space, with the vestiges of the removed Light of The Infinite still remaining after the first contraction and compression], is the inmost covering, nearest to His substance; and to this covering belongs the general name AUR PENIAL, Light of the Countenance of God: by which we are to understand the Light of The Substance.

And after this covering was effected, He contracted it, so as to lift up the lower moiety; … and this is the third contraction; and in this manner He made vacant a space for the worlds, which had not the capacity to use the great Light of the covering, the end whereof was lucid and excellent as its beginning. And so [by drawing up the lower half and half the letters], are made the Male and Female, that is, the anterior and posterior adhering mutually to one another.

The vacant space effected by this retraction is called AUIR KADMON, the PRIMAL SPACE: for it was the first of all Spaces; nor was it allowable to call itcovering, which is AUR PENI-BAL, the Light of the Countenance of God.

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The vestiges of the Light of the Garment still remained there. And this world of the garment has a name that includes all things, which is the name IHUH. Before the world of the vacant space was created, HE was, and His Name, and they alone; that is, AINSOPH and His garmenting.

The EMECH HAMMELECH says again:

The lower half of the garment [by the third retraction], was left empty of the light of the garment. But the vestiges of that light remained in the place so vacated … and this garment is called SHEKINAH, God in-dwelling; that is, the place where יה Yōd He, of the anterior [or male], and וה Vav He, of the posterior [or female], combinations of letters dwelt.

This vacant space was square, and is called the Primal Space; and in Kabalah it is called Auira Kadmah, or Rasimu Ailah, The Primal Space, or The Sublime Vestige. It is the vestige of the Light of the Garment, with which is intermingled somewhat of the vestige of the Very Substance. It is called Primal Ether, but not void Space… The Light of the Vestige still remains in the place it occupied, and adheres there, like somewhat spiritual, of extreme tenuity.

In this Ether are two Lights; that is, the Light of the SUBSTANCE, which was taken away, and that of the Garment. There is a vast difference between the two; for that of the Vestige of the Garment is, relatively to that of the Vestige of the Substance, like a point in the centre of a circle. And as the only appropriate name for the Light of the Vestige of Ainsoph is AUR, Light, therefore the Light of the Vestige of the Garment could not be called by that name; and so we term it a point, that is, Yōd [’ or י], which is that point in the centre of Light … and this Light, a point in the centre of the Great Light, is called Auir, Ether, or Space.

This Ether is somewhat more gross than The Light … not so subtle, though not perceptible by the senses … is termed the Primal Ether … extends everywhere; whence the Philosophers call it The Soul of the World … Light is visible, though not perceptible. This Ether is neither perceptible nor visible.

The Introduction to the Book Sohar continues, in the Section of the Letter Yōd, etc:

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Worlds could not be framed in this Primal Ether, on account of its extreme tenuity and the excess of Light; and also because in it remained the vital Spirit of the Vestige of the Light Ainsoph, and that of the Vestige of the Light of the Garment; whereby such manifestation was prevented.

Wherefore HE directed the letter Yōd, since it was not so brilliant as the Primal Ether, to descend, and take to itself the light remaining in the Primal Ether, and return above, with that Vestige which so impeded the manifestation; which Yōd did.

It descended below five times, to remove the vital Spirit of the Vestige of the Light Ainsoph; and the Vestige of the Light and vital Spirit of the Garment from the Sphere of Splendor, so as to make of it ADAM, called KADMON. And by its return, manifestation is effected in the space below, and a Vestige of the Sublime Brilliance yet remains there, existing as a Spherical Shape, and termed in the Sohar simply Tehiru, that is, Splendor; and it is styled The First Matter… it being, as it were, vapor, and, as it were, smoke. And as smoke is formless, not comprehended under any fixed definite form, so this Sphere is a formless somewhat, since it seems to be somewhat that is spherical, and yet is not limited.

The letter Yōd, while adhering to the Shekinah, had adhering to himself the Light of the Shekinah, though his light was not so great as that of the Shekinah. But when he descended, he left that light of his own below, and the Splendor consisted of it. After which there was left in Yōd only a vestige of that light, inasmuch as he could not re-ascend to the Shekinah and adhere to it. Wherefore The Holy and Blessed directed the letter He [ה, the female letter], to communicate to Yōd of her Light; and sent him forth, to descend and share with that light in the Splendor aforesaid … and when he re-descended into the Sphere of Splendor, he diffused abroad in it the Light communicated to him by the letter He.

And when he again ascended he left behind him the productive light of the letter He, and thereof was constituted another Sphere, within the Sphere of Splendor; which lesser Sphere is termed in the Sohar KETHER AILAH, CORONA SUMMA, The Supreme Crown, and also ATIKA DI ATIKIM, Antiquus Antiquum,The Ancient of Ancients, and even AILIT H’ AILIT, Causa Causarum, the Cause of Causes. But the Crown is very far smaller than the Sphere of Splendor, so that within the latter an immense unoccupied place and space is still left.

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Before the Infinite God, the Supreme and First Good, formed objectively within Himself a particular conception, definite, limited, and the object of intellection, and gave form and shape to an intellectual conception and image. HE was alone, companionless, without form or similitude, utterly without Ideal or Figure … It is forbidden to make of Him any figure whatever, by any image in the world, neither by the letter He nor by the letter Yōd, nor by any other letter or point in the world.

But after He had formed this Idea, the particular conception, limited and intelligible, which the Ten Numerations are, of the medium of transmission, Adam Kadmon, the Primal or Supreme Man, He by that medium descended, and may, through that Idea, be called by the name IHUH, and so created things have cognizance of Him, by means of His proper likeness.

Woe unto him who makes God to be like unto any mode or attribute whatever, even were it to one of His own; and still more if he make Him like unto the Sons of Men, whose elements are earthly, and so are consumed and perish!

There can be no conception had of Him, except in so far as He manifests Himself, in exercising dominion by and through some attribute … Abstracted from this, there can be no attribute, conception, or ideal of Him. He is comparable only to the Sea, filling some great reservoir, its bed in the earth, for example; wherein it fashions for itself a certain concavity, so that thereby we may begin to compute the dimensions of the Sea itself.

For example, the Spring and Source of the Ocean is a somewhat, which is one. If from this Source or Spring there issues forth a certain fountain, proportioned to the space occupied by the Sea in that hemispherical reservoir, such as is the letter Yōd, there the Source of Spring is the first somewhat, and the fountain that flows forth from it is the second. Then let there be made a great reservoir, as by excavation, and let this be called the Ocean, and we have the third thing, a vessel [Vas]. Now let this great reservoir be divided into seven beds of rivers, that is, into seven oblong reservoirs, so that from this ocean the waters may flow forth in- seven rivers; and the Source, Fountain, and Ocean thus make ten in all.

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The Cause of Causes made ten Numerations, and called the Source of Spring KETHER, Corona, the Crown, in which the idea of circularity is involved, for there is no end to the out-flow of Light; and therefore He called this, like Himself, endless; for this also, like Him, has no similitude or configuration, nor hath it any vessel or receptacle wherein it may be contained, or by means whereof any possible cognizance can be had of it.

After thus forming the Crown, He constituted a certain smaller receptacle, the letter Yōd, and filled it from that source; and this is called "The Fountain gushing with Wisdom," and, manifested in this, He called Himself WISE, and the vessel He called HAKEMAH, Wisdom, Sapientia.

Then He also constituted a great reservoir, which He called the Ocean; and to it He gave the name of BINAH, Understanding, Intelligentia. In this He characterized Himself as Intelligent or Conceiver. HE is indeed the Absolutely Wise and Intelligent, but Hakemah is not Absolute Wisdom of itself, but is wise by means of Binah, who fills Himself from it, and if this supply were taken from it, would be dry and unintelligent.

And thereupon seven precious vessels become, to which are given the following names: GEDULAH, Magnificence or Benignity [or KHASED, Mercy]; GEBURAH, Austerity, Rigor or Severity; TEPHARETH, Beauty; NETSAKH, Victory; HŌD, Glory; YESOD, Foundation or Basis; and MALAKOTH, Rule,Reign, Royalty, Dominion or Power. And in GEDULAH He took the character of Great and Benignant; in GEBURAH, of Severe; in TEPHARETH, ofBeautiful; in NETSAKH, of Overcoming; in HŌD, of OUR GLORIOUS AUTHOR; in YESOD, of Just, by Yesod all vessels and worlds being upheld; and in MALAKOTH He applied to Himself the title of King.

These numerations or Sephiroths are held in the Kabala to have been originally contained in each other; that is, Kether contained the nine others, Hakemah contained Binah, and Binah contained the last seven.

For all things, says the commentary of Rabbi Jizchak Lorja, in a certain most abstruse manner, consist or reside and are contained in Binah, and it projects them, and sends them downward, species by species, into the several worlds of Emanation, Creation, Formation, and Fabrication; all whereof are derived from what are above them, and are termed their out-flowings; for, from the potency which was their state there, they descend into actuality.

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It is said in many places in the Sohar, that all things that emanate or are created have their root above. Hence also the Ten Sephiroth have their root above, in the world of the garment, with the very Substance of HIM. And AINSOPH had full consciousness and appreciation, prior to their actual existence, of all the Grades and Impersonations contained unmanifested within Himself, with regard to the essence of each, and its domination then in potency … When He came to the Sephirah of the Impersonation Malakoth, which He then contained hidden within Himself, He concluded within Himself that therein worlds should be framed; since the scale of the first nine Sephiroths was so constituted, that it was neither fit nor necessary for worlds to be framed from them; for all the attributes of these nine Superior Sephiroth could be assigned to Himself, even if He should never operate outwardly; but Malakoth, which is Empire or Dominion, could not be attributed to Him, unless He ruled over other Existences; whence from the point Malakoth He produced all the worlds into actuality.

These circles are ten in number. Originated by points, they expanded in circular shape. Ten Circles, under the mystery of the ten Sephiroth, and between them ten Spaces; whence it appears that the sphere of Splendor is in the centre of the space Malakoth of the First Occult Adam.

The First Adam, in the ten circles above the Splendor, is called the First occult Adam; and in each of these spaces are formed many thousand worlds. The first Adam is involved in the Primal Ether, and is the analogue of the world Binah.

Again the Introduction repeats the first and second descent of Yōd into the vacated space, to make the light there less great and subtile; the constitution of the Tehiru, Splendor, from the light left behind there by him; the communication of Light to him by the female letter He; the emission by him of that Light, within the sphere of Splendor, and the formation thereof, within the sphere, "of a certain sphere called the Supreme Crown," Corona Summa, KETHER, "wherein were contained, in potence, all the remaining Numerations, so that they were not distinguishable from it. Precisely as in man exist the four elements, in potence specifically undistinguishable, so in this Corona were in potence all the ten Numerations, specifically undistinguishable." This Crown, it is added, was called, after the restoration, The Cause of Causes, and the Ancient of the Ancients.

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The point, Kether, adds the Introduction, was the aggregate of all the Ten … when it first emanated, it consisted of all the Ten; and the Light which extended from the Emanative Principle simultaneously flowed into it; and beheld the two Universals [that is, the Unities out of which manifoldness flows; as, for example, the idea, within the Deity, of Humanity as a Unit, out of which the individuals were to flow], the Vessel or Receptacle containing this immitted Light, and the Light Itself within it. And this Light is the Substance of the point Kether; for the WILL of God is the Soul of all things that are.

The Ainsophic Light, it had said, was infinite in every direction, and without end or limit. To prevent it from flowing into and re-filling the quasi-vacant space, occupied by an infinitely less Splendor, a partition between the greater and lesser Splendor was necessary; and this partition, the boundary of the sphere of Splendor, and a like one bounding the sphere Kether, were called Vessels or Receptacles, containing, including, and enclosing within themselves the light of the sphere. Imagine a sea of pellucid water, and in the centre of it a spherical mass of denser and darker water. The outer surface of this sphere, or its limits every way, is the vessel containing it. The Kabalah regards the vessels "as by their nature somewhat opaque, and not so splendid as the light they enclose."

The contained Light is the Soul of the vessels, and is active in them, like the Human Soul in the human body. The Light of the Emanative Principle [Ainsoph] inheres in the vessels, as their Life, internal Light, and Soul… Kether emanated, with its Very Substance, at the same time as Substance and Vessel, in like manner as the flame is annexed to the live coal, and as the Soul pervades, and is within, the body. All the Numerations were potentially contained in it.

And this potentiality is thus explained: When a woman conceives, a Soul is immediately sent into the embryo which is to become the infant, in which Soul are then, potentially, all the members and veins of the body, which afterward, from that potency of the Soul, become in the human body of the child to be born.

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Then the wisdom of God commanded that these Numerations potentially in Kether, should be produced from potentiality into actuality, in order that worlds might consist; and HE directed Yōd again to descend, and to enter into and shine within Kether, and then to re-ascend: which was so done. From which illumination and re-ascension, all the other numerations, potentially in Kether, were manifested and disclosed; but they continued still compacted together, remaining within Kether in a circle.

When God willed to produce the other emanations or numerations from Kether, it is added, HE sent Yōd down again, to the upper part of Kether, one-half of him to remain without and one-half to penetrate within the sphere of Kether. Then HE sent the letter Vav into the Splendor, to pour out its light on Yōd: and thus, –

Yōd received light from Vav, and thereby so directed his countenance that it should illuminate and confer exceeding great energy on Hakemah, which yet remained in Kether; so giving it the faculty to proceed forth therefrom; and that it might collect and contain within itself, and there reveal, all the other eight numerations, until that time in Kether.

The sphere of Kether opened, and thereout issued Hakemah, to remain below Kether, containing in itself all the other numerations.

By a similar process, Binah, illuminated within Hakemah by a second Yōd, "issued forth out of Hakemah, having within itself the Seven lower Numerations."

And since the vessel of Binah was excellent, and coruscated with rays of the color of sapphire, and was so nearly of the same color as the vessel of Hakemah that there was scarcely any difference between them, hence it would not quietly remain below Hakemah, but rose, and placed itself on his left side.

And because the light from above profusely flowed into and accumulated in the vessel of Hakemah, to so great an extent that it overflowed, and escaped, coruscating, outside of that vessel, and, flowing off to the left, communicated potency and increase to the vessel of Binah … For Binah is female … .

Binah, therefore, by means of this energy that flowed into it from the left side of Hakemah, by virtue of the second Yōd, came to possess such virtue and potency, as to project beyond itself the Seven remaining vessels contained within itself, and so emitted them all, continuously, one after the other … all connected and linked one with the other, like the links of a chain.

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Three points first emanated, one under the other; Kether, Hakemah, and Binah; and, so far, there was no copulation. But afterward the positions of Hakemah and Binah changed, so that they were side by side, Kether remaining above them; and then conjunction of the Male and Female, ABA and IMMA, Father and Mother, as points.

He, from Whom all emanated, created Adam Kadmon, consisting of all the worlds, so that in him should be somewhat from those above, and somewhat from those below. Hence in Him was NEPHESCH [PSYCHE, anima infima, the lowest spiritual part of man, Soul], from the world ASIAH, which is one letter He of the Tetragrammaton; RUACH [ SPIRITUS, anima media, the next higher spiritual part, or Spirit], from the world YEZIRAH, which is the Vav of the Tetragrammaton; NESCHAMAH [the highest spiritual part, mens or anima superior], from the world BRIAH, which is the other letter He; and NESCHAMAH LENESCHAMAH, from the world ATSILUTH, which is the YŌD of the Tetragrammaton.

And these letters [the Sephiroth] were changed from the spherical form into the form of a person, the symbol of which person is the BALANCE, it being Male andFemale … Hakemah on one side, Binah on the other, and Kether over them: and so Gedulah on one side, Geburah on the other, and Tephareth under them.

The Book Omschim says: Some hold that the ten Sephiroth succeeded one another in ten degrees, one above the other, in regular gradation, one connected with the other in a direct line, from the highest to the lowest. Others hold that they issued forth in three lines, parallel with each other, one on the right hand, one on the left, and one in the middle; so that, beginning with the highest and going down to the lowest, Hakemah, Khased [or Gedulah], and Netsach are one over the other, in a perpendicular line, on the right hand; Binah, Geburah, and Hōd on the left; and Kether, Tephareth, Yesod, and Malakoth in the middle: and many hold that all the ten subsist in circles, one within the other, and all homocentric.

It is also to be noted, that the Sephirothic tables contain still another numeration, sometimes called also a Sephirah, which is called Daath, cognition. It is in the middle, below Hakemah and Binah, and is the result of the conjunction of these two.

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To Adam Kadmon, the Idea of the Universe, the Kabalah assigns a human form. In this, Kether is the cranium, Hakemah and Binah the two lobes of the brain, Gedulah and Geburah the two arms, Tephareth the trunk, Netsach and Hōd the thighs, Yesod the male organ, and Malkuth the female organ, of generation.

Yōd is Hakemah, and He Dinah; Vav is Tephareth, and the last He, Malkuth.

The whole, say the Books Mysterii or of Occultation, is thus summed up: The intention of God The Blessed was to form Impersonations, in order to diminish the Light. Wherefore HE constituted, in Macroprosopos, Adam Kadmon, or Arik Anpin, three Heads. The first is called, "The Head whereof is no cognition"; the second, "The Head of that which is non-existent"; and the third, "The Very Head of Macroprosopos"; and these three are Corona, Sapientia, and Informatio, Kether, Hakemah, and Binah, existent in the Corona of the World of Emanation, or in Macroprosopos; and these three are called in the Sohar ATIKA KADISCHA,Senex Sanctissimus, The Most Holy Ancient. But the Seven inferior Royalties of the first Adam are called "The Ancient of Days"; and this Ancient of Days is the internal part, or Soul, of Macroprosopos.

The human mind has never struggled harder to understand and explain to itself the process of creation, and of Divine manifestation, and at the same time to conceal its thoughts from all but the initiated, than in the Kabalah. Hence, much of it seems at first like jargon. Macroprosopos or Adam Kadmon is, we have said, the idea or intellectual aggregate of the whole Universe, included and contained unevolved in the manifested Deity, Himself yet contained unmanifested in the Absolute. The Head, Kether, "whereof is no cognition," is the Will of the Deity, or the Deity as Will. Hakemah, the head "of that which is non-existent," is the Generative Power of begetting or producing Thought; yet in the Deity, not in action, and therefore non-existent. Binah, "the very or actual head" of Macroprosopos, is the productive intellectual capacity, which, impregnated by Hakemah, is to produce the Thought. This Thought is Daath; or rather, the result is Intellection, Thinking; the Unity, of which Thoughts are the manifold outflowings.

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This may be illustrated by a comparison. Pain, in the human being, is a feeling or sensation. It must be produced. To produce it, there must be, not only the capacityto produce it, in the nerves, but also the power of generating it by means of that capacity. This generative Power, the Passive Capacity which produces, and the pain produced, are like Hakemah, Dinah, and Daath.

The four Worlds or Universals, Aziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Asiah, of Emanation, Creation, Formation, and Fabrication, are another enigma of the Kabalah. The first three are wholly within the Deity. The first is the Universe, as it exists potentially in the Deity, determined and imagined, but as yet wholly formless and undeveloped, except so far as it is contained in His Emanations. The second is the Universe in idea, distinct within the Deity, but not invested with forms; a simple unity. The third is the same Universe in potence in the Deity, unmanifested, but invested with forms, – the idea developed into manifoldness and individuality, and succession of species and individuals; and the fourth is the potentiality become the Actuality, the Universe fabricated, and existing as it exists for us.

The Sephiroth, says the Porta Cælorum, by the virtue of their Infinite Emanator, who uses them as a workman uses his tools, and who operates with and through them, are the cause of existence of everything created, formed, and fashioned, employing in their production certain media. But these same Sephiroth, Persons andLights, are not creatures per se, but ideas, and Rays of THE INFINITE, which, by different gradations, so descended from the Supreme Source as still not to be severed from It; but It, through them, is extended to the production and government of all Entities, and is the Single and Perfect Universal Cause of All, though becoming determinate for this or the other operation, through this or that Sephiroth or MODE.

God produced all things by His Intellect and Will and free Determination. He willed to produce them by the mediation of His Sephiroth, and Persons … . by which He is enabled most perfectly to manifest Himself; and that the more perfectly, by producing the causes themselves, and the Causes of Causes, and not merely the viler effects.

God produced, in the first Originate, all the remaining causates. For, as He Himself is most simply One, and from One Simple Being One only can immediately proceed, hence it results that from the First Supreme Infinite Unity flowed forth at the same time All and One. One, that is, in so far as flowing from the Most Simple Unity, and being like unto It; but also All, in so far as, departing from that perfect Singleness which can be measured by no other Singleness, it became, to a certain extent, manifold, though still Absolute and Perfect.

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Emanation, says the same, is the Resulting displayed from the Unresulting, the Finite from the Infinite, the Manifold and Composite from the Perfect Single and Simple, Potentiality from that which is Infinite Power and Act, the mobile from that which is perennially permanent; and therefore in a more imperfect and diminished mode than His Infinite Perfection is. As the First Cause is all things, in an unresulting and Infinite mode, so the Entities that flow from Him are the First Causes, in a resulting and finite mode.

THE NECESSARY ENTITY, subsisting of Itself, as It cannot be dissevered into the manifold, yet becomes, as it were, multiplied in the Causates, in respect of their Nature, or of the Subsistences, Vessels, and openings assigned to them; whereby the Single and Infinite Essence, being inclosed or comprehended in these limits, bounds, or externalnesses, takes on Itself Definiteness of dimension, and becomes Itself manifold, by the manifoldness of these envelopes.

As man [the unit of Humanity] is a microcosm, so Adam Kadmon is a macrocosm, containing all the Causates of the First Cause … . as the Material Man is the end and completion of all creation, so in the Divine Man is the beginning thereof. As the inferior Adam receives all things from all, so the superior Adam supplies all thingsto all. As the former is the principle of reflected light, so the latter is of Direct Light. The former is the terminus of the Light, descending; the latter its terminus, ascending. As the Inferior man ascends from the lowest matter even to the First Cause, so the Superior Adam descends from the Simple and Infinite Act, even to the lowest and most attenuated Potence.

The Ternary is the bringing back of duality to unity.

The Ternary is the Principle of Number, because, bringing back the binary to unity, it restores to it the same quantity whereby it had departed from unity. It is the first odd number, containing in itself the first even number and the unit, which are the Father and Mother of all Numbers; and it has in itself the beginning, middle, and end.

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Now, Adam Kadmon emanated from the Absolute Unity, and so is himself a unit; but he also descends and flows downward into his own Nature, and so is duality. Again, he returns to the Unity, which he hath in himself, and to The Highest, and so is the Ternary and Quaternary.

And this is why the Essential Name has four letters, – three different ones, and one of them once repeated; since the first He is the wife of the Yōd, and the second He is the wife of the Vav.

Those media which manifest the First Cause, in Himself profoundly hidden, are the Sephiroth, which emanate immediately from that First Cause, and by Its Nature have produced and do control all the rest.

These Sephiroth were put forth from the One First and Simple, manifesting His Infinite Goodness. They are the mirrors of His Truth, and the analogues of His Supremest Essence, the Ideas of His Wisdom, and the representations of His will; the receptacles of His Potency, and the instruments with which He operates; the Treasury of His Felicity, the dispensers of His Benignity, the Judges of His Kingdom, and reveal His Law; and finally, the Denominations, Attributes, and Names of Him Who is above all and the Cause of all … . the ten categories, wherein all things are contained; the universal genera, which in themselves include all things, and utter them outwardly … the Second Causes, whereby the First Cause effects, preserves, and governs all things; the rays of the Divinity, whereby all things are illumined and manifested; the Forms and Ideas and Species, out whereof all things issue forth; the Souls and Potencies, whereby essence, life, and movement are given to all things; the Standard of times, whereby all things are measured; the incorporeal Spaces which, in themselves, hold and inclose the Universe; the Supernal Monads to which all manifolds are referred, and through them to The One and Simple; and finally the Formal Perfections, flowing forth from and still connected with the One Eminent Limitless Perfection, are the Causes of all dependent Perfections, and so illuminate the elementary Intelligences, not adjoined to matter, and the intellectual Souls, and the Celestial, Elemental and Element-produced bodies.

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The IDRA SUTA says:

HE, the Most Holy Hidden Eldest, separates Himself, and is ever more and more separated from all that are; nor yet does HE in very deed separate Himself; because all things cohere with him and HE with All. HE is All that is, the Most Holy Eldest of All, the Occult by all possible occultations.

When HE takes shape, HE produces nine Lights, which shine forth from Him, from His outforming. And those Lights out-shine from Him and emit flames, and go forth and spread out on every side; as from one elevated Lamp the Rays are poured forth in every direction, and these Rays thus diverging, are found to be, when one approaching has cognizance of them, but a single Lamp.

The Space in which to create is fixed by THE MOST HOLY ANCIENT, and illuminated by His inflowing, which is the Light of Wisdom, and the Beginning from which manifestation flows.

And HE is conformed in three Heads, which are but one Head; and these three are extended into Microprosopos, and from them shines out all that is.

Then this Wisdom instituted investiture with form, whereby the unmanifested and informous became manifested, putting on form; and produced a certain outflow.

When this Wisdom is thus expanded by flowing forth, then it is called "Father of Fathers," the whole Universe of Things being contained and comprehended in it. This Wisdom is the principle of all things, and in it beginning and end are found.

The Book of the Abstruse, says the Siphra de Zeniutha, is that which describes the equilibrium of the Balance. Before the Balance was, face did not look toward face.

And the Commentary on it says: The Scales of the Balance are designated as Male and Female. In the Spiritual world Evil and Good are in equilibrio, and it will be restored, when of the Evil Good becomes, until all is Good. Also this other world is called the World of the Balance. For, as in the Balance are two scales, one on either side and the beam and needle between them, so too in this world of restoration, the Numerations are arranged as distinct persons. For Hakemah is on the right hand, on the side of Gedulah, and Binah on the left, on the side of Geburah; and Kether is the beam of the Balance above them in the middle. So Gedulah or Khased is on one hand, and Geburah on the other, and under these Tephareth; and Netsach is on one side, and Hōd on the other, and under these Yesōd.

The Supreme Crown, which is the Ancient Most Holy, the most Hidden of the Hidden, is fashioned, within the occult Wisdom, of both sexes, Male and Female.

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Hakemah, and Binah, the Mother, whom it impregnates, are quantitatively equal. Wisdom and the Mother of Intellection go forth at once and dwell together; for when the Intellectual Power emanates, the productive Source of intellection is included in Him.

Before Adam Kadmon was fashioned into Male and Female, and the state of equilibrium introduced, the Father and Mother did not look each other in the face; for the Father denotes most perfect Love, and the Mother most perfect Rigor; and she averted her face.

There is no left [female], says the Idra Rabba, in the Ancient and Hidden One; but His totality is Right [male]. The totality of things is HUA, HE, and HE is hidden on every side.

Macroprosopos [Adam Kadmon] is not so near unto us as to speak to us in the first person; but is designated in the third person, HUA, HE.

Of the letters it says:

Yōd is male, He is female, Vav is both.

In Yōd [י] are three Yōds, the upper and the lower apex, and Vav in the middle. By the upper apex is denoted the Supreme Kether; by Vav in the middle, Hakemah; and by the lower apex, Binah.

The IDRA SUTA says:

The Universe was out-formed in the form of Male and Female. Wisdom, pregnant with all that is, when it flowed and shone forth, shone altogether under the form of male and female. Hakemah is the Father, and Binah is the Mother; and so the two are in equilibrium as male and female, and for this reason, all things whatsoever are constituted in the form of male and female; and if it were not so they would not exist.

This Principle, Hakemah, is the Generator of all things; and He and Binah conjoin, and she shines within Him. When they thus conjoin, she conceives, and the out-flow is Truth.

Yōd impregnates the letter He and begets a son; and she, thus pregnant, brings forth. The Principle called Father [the Male or Generative Principle] is comprehended in Yōd, which itself flows downward from the energy of the Absolute Holy One.

Yōd is the beginning and the end of all things that are. The stream that flows forth is the Universe of things, which always becomes, having no cessation. And thisbecoming world is created by Yōd: for Yōd includes two letters. All things are included in Yōd; wherefore it is called the Father of all.

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All Categories whatever go forth from Hakemah; and in it are contained all things, unmanifested; and the aggregate of all things, or the Unity in which the many are, and out of which all flow, is the Sacred Name IHUH.

In the view of the Kabalists, all individuals are contained in species, and all species in genera, and all particulars in a Universal, which is an idea, abstracted from all consideration of individuals; not an aggregate of individuals; but, as it were, an Ens, Entity or Being, ideal or intellectual, but none the less real; prior to any individual,containing them all, and out of which they are all in succession evolved.

If this discontents you, reflect that, supposing the theory correct, that all was originally in the Deity, and that the Universe has proceeded forth from Him, and not beencreated by Him out of nothing, the idea of the Universe, existing in the Deity before its out-flow, must have been as real as the Deity Himself. The whole Human race, or Humanity, for example, then existed in the Deity, not distinguished into individuals, but as a Unit, out of which the Manifold was to flow.

Everything actual must also first have been possible, before having actual existence; and this possibility or potentiality was to the Kabalists a real Ens. Before the evolvement of the Universe, it had to exist potentially, the whole of it, with all its individuals, included in a single Unity. This was the Idea or Plan of the Universe; and this had to be formed. It had to emanate from the Infinite Deity, and be of Himself, though not His Very Self.

Geburah, Severity, the Sephirah opposite to and conjoined sexually with Gedulah, to produce Tephareth, Harmony and Beauty, is also called in the Kabalah "Judgment," in which term are included the ideas of limitation and conditioning, which often seems, indeed, to be its principal sense; while Benignity is as often styled Infinite. Thus it is obscurely taught that in everything that is, not only the Finite but also the Infinite is present; and that the rigor of the stern law of limitation, by which everything below or beside the Infinite Absolute is limited, bounded, and conditioned, is tempered and modified by the grace, which so relaxes it that the Infinite, Unlimited, Unconditioned, is also everywhere present; and that it is thus the Spiritual and Material Natures are in equilibrio, Good everywhere counterbalancing Evil, Light everywhere in equilibrium with Darkness: from which again results the Universal Harmony of things. In the vacant space effected for creation, there at last remained a faint vestige or trace of Ainsophic Light, of the Light of the Substance of the Infinite. Man is thus both human and divine: and the apparent antagonisms in his Nature are a real equilibrium, if he wills it shall be so; from which results the Harmony, not only of Life and Action, but of Virtue and Perfection.

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To understand the Kabalistic idea of the Sephiroth, it must be borne in mind that they were assigned, not only to the world of Emanation, Aziluth, but also to each of the other worlds, Briah, Jezirah, and Asiah. They were not only attributes of the Unmanifested Deity, not only Himself in limitation, but His actual manifestations, or His qualities made apparent as modes; and they were also qualities of the Universal Nature – Spiritual, Mental, and Material, produced and made existent by the outflow of Himself.

In the view of the Kabalah, God and the Universe were One, and in the One General, as the type or source, were included and involved, and from it have been evolved and issued forth, the manifold and all particulars. Where, indeed, does individuality begin? Is it the Hidden Source and Spring alone that is the individual, the Unit, or is it the flowing fountain that fills the ocean, or the ocean itself, or its waves, or the drops, or the vaporous particles, that are the individuals? The Sea and the River – these are each One; but the drops of each are many. The tree is one; but its leaves are a multitude: they drop with the frosts, and fall upon his roots; but the tree still continues to grow, and new leaves come again in the Spring. Is the Human Race not the Tree, and are not individual men the leaves? How else explain the force of will and sympathy, and the dependence of one man at every instant of his life on others, except by the oneness of the race? The links that bind all created things together are the links of a single Unity, and the whole Universe is One, developing itself into the manifold.

Obtuse commentators have said that the Kabalah assigns sexual characteristics to the very Deity. There is no warrant for such an assertion, anywhere in the Sohar or in any commentary upon it. On the contrary, the whole doctrine of the Kabalah is based on the fundamental proposition, that the Very Deity is Infinite, everywhere extended, without limitation or determination, and therefore without any conformation whatever. In order to commence the process of creation, it was necessary for Him, first of all, to effect a vacant space within Himself. To this end the Deity, whose Nature is approximately expressed by describing Him as Light filling all space, formless, limitless, contracts Himself on all sides from a point within Himself, and thus effects a quasi-vacant space, in which only a vestige of His Light remains; and into this circular or spherical space He emits His Emanations, portions of His Light or Nature; and to some of these, sexual characteristics are symbolically assigned.

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The Infinite first limits Himself by flowing forth in the shape of Will, of determination to act. This Will of the Deity, or the Deity as will, is Kether, or the Crown, the first Sephirah. In it are included all other Emanations. This is a philosophical necessity. The Infinite does not first will, and then, as a sequence to, or consequence of, that determination, subsequently perform. To will and to act must be, with Him, not only simultaneous, but in reality the same . . Nor does He, by His Omniscience,learn that a particular action will be wise, and then, in consequence of being so convinced, first determine to do the act, and then do it. His Wisdom and His Will, also, act simultaneously; and, with Him, to decide that it was wise to create, was to create. Thus His will contains in itself all the Sephiroth. This will, determining Him to the exercise of intellection, to thought, to frame the Idea of the Universe, caused the Power in Him to excite the intellectual Faculty to exercise, and was that Power. Its SELF, which had flowed forth from Ainsoph as Will, now flows forth as the Generative Power to beget intellectual action in the Intellectual Faculty, or Intelligence, Binah. The Act itself, the Thought, the Intellection, producing the Idea, is Daath; and as the text of the Siphra de Zeniutha says, The Power and Faculty, the Generative and Productive, the Active and Passive, the Will and Capacity, which unite to produce that Act of reflection or Thought or Intellection, are always in conjunction. As is elsewhere said in the Kabalah, both of them are contained and essentially involved in the result. And the Will, as Wisdom or Intellectual Power, and the Capacity or Faculty, are really the Father and Mother of all that is; for to the creation of anything, it was absolutely necessary that The Infinite should form for Himself and in Himself, an idea of what HE willed to produce or create: and, as there is no Time with Him, to will was to create, to plan was to will and to create; and in the Idea, the Universe in potence, the universal succession of things was included. Thenceforward all was merely evolution and development.

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Netsach and Hōd, the Seventh and Eighth Sephiroth, are usually called in the Kabalah, Victory and Glory. Netsach is the perfect Success, which, with the Deity, to Whom the Future is present, attends, and to His creatures is to result, from the plan of Equilibrium everywhere adopted by Him. It is the reconciliation of Light and Darkness, Good and Evil, Free-will and Necessity, God's omnipotence and Man's liberty; and the harmonious issue and result of all, without which the Universe would be a failure. It is the inherent Perfection of the Deity, manifested in His Idea of the Universe, and in all the departments or worlds, spiritual, mental, or material, of that Universe; but it is that Perfection regarded as the successful result, which it both causes or produces and is; the perfection of the plan being its success. It is the prevailing of Wisdom over Accident; and it, in turn, both produces and is the Glory and Laudation of the Great Infinite Contriver, whose plan is thus Successful and Victorious.

From these two, which are one, – from the excellence and perfection of the Divine Nature and Wisdom, considered as Success and Glory, as the opposites of Failure and Mortification, results what the Kabalah, styling it Yesod, Foundation or Basis, characterizes as the Generative member of the Symbolical human figure by which the ten Sephiroth are represented, and from this flows Malakoth, Empire, Dominion, or Rule. Yesod is the Stability and Permanence, which would, in ordinary language, be said to result from the perfection of the Idea or Intellectual Universal, out of which all particulars are evolved; from the success of that scheme, and the consequent Glory or Self-Satisfaction of the Deity; but which Stability and Permanence that Perfection, Success, and Glory really Is; since the Deity, infinitely Wise, and to Whom the Past, Present, and Future were and always will be one Now, and all space one HERE, had not to await the operation and evolution of His plan, as men do the result of an experiment, in order to see if it would succeed, and so to determine whether it should stand, and be stable and permanent, or fall and be temporary. Its Perfection was its Success; His Glory, its permanence and stability: and the Attributes of Permanence and Stability belong, like the others, to the Universe, material, mental, spiritual, and real, because and as they belong to the Infinite Himself.

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This Stability and Permanence causes continuance and generates succession. It is Perpetuity, and continuity without solution; and by this continuous succession, whereby out of Death comes new Life, out of dissolution and resolution comes reconstruction, Necessity and Fatality result as a consequence: that is to say, the absolute control and dominion (Malakoth) of The Infinite Deity over all that He produces, and over chance and accident; and the absolute non-existence in the Universe, in Time and in Space, of any other powers or influences than those which, proceeding from Him, are and cannot not be perfectly submissive to His will. This results, humanly speaking; but in reality, the Perfection of the plan, which is its success, His glory, and its stability, is also His Absolute Autocracy, and the utter absence of Chance, Accident, or Antagonism. And, as the Infinite Wisdom or Absolute Reason rules in the Divine Nature itself, so also it does in its Emanations, and in the worlds or systems of Spirit, Soul, and Matter; in each of which there is as little Chance or Accident or Unreasoning Fate, as in the Divine Nature unmanifested.

This is the Kabalistic theory as to each of the four worlds; – 1st, of the Divine Nature, or Divinity itself, quantitatively limited and determined, but not manifested into Entities, which is the world of Emanation, 2d, of the first Entities, that is, of Spirits and Angels, which is the world of Creation; 3d, of the first forms, souls, or psychical natures, which is the world of Formation or Fashioning; and, 4th, of Matter and Bodies, which is the world of Fabrication, or, as it were, of manufacture. In each of these the Deity is present, as, in, and through the Ten Sephiroth. First of these, in each, is Kether, the Crown, ring, or circlet, the HEAD. Next, in that Head, as the two Hemispheres of the Brain, are Hakemah and Binah, and their result and progeny, Daath. These three are found also in the Spiritual world, and are universals in the psychical and material world, producing the lower Sephiroth. Then follow, in perfect Equilibrium, Law and Equity, Justice and Mercy, the Divine Infinite Nature and the Human Finite Nature, Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, Benignity and Severity, the Male and the Female again, as Hakemah and Binah are, mutually tempering each other, and by their intimate union producing the other Sephiroth.

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The whole Universe, and all the succession of entities and events were present to The Infinite, before any act of creation; and His Benignity and Leniency, tempering and qualifying the law of rigorous Justice and inflexible Retribution, enabled Him to create: because, but for it, and if He could not but have administered the strict and stern law of justice, that would have compelled Him to destroy, immediately after its inception, the Universe He purposed to create, and so would have prevented its creation. This Leniency, therefore, was, as it were, the very essence and quintessence of the Permanence and Stability of the plan of Creation, and part of the Very Nature of the Deity. The Kabalah, therefore, designates it as Light and Whiteness, by which the Very Substance of Deity is symbolized. With this agree Paul's ideas as to Law and Grace; for Paul had studied the Kabalah at the feet of Gamaliel the Rabbi.

With this Benignity, the Autocracy of the dominion and control of the Deity is imbued and interpenetrated. The former, poured, as it were, into the latter, is an integral and essential part of it, and causes it to give birth to the succession and continuance of the Universe. For Malakoth, in the Kabalah, is female, and the matrix or womb out of which all creation is born.

☞ The Sephiroth may be arranged as on page 770.

The Kabalah is the primitive tradition, and its entirety rests on the single dogma of Magism, "the visible is for us the proportional measure of the invisible." The Ancients, observing that equilibrium is in physics the universal law, and that it results from the apparent opposition of two forces, concluded from the physical to the metaphysical equilibrium, and thought that in God, that is to say, in the first living and active cause, two properties necessary to each other, should be recognized; stability and movement, necessity and liberty, order dictated by reason and the self-rule of Supreme Will, Justice, and Love, and consequently Severity and Grace, Mercy or Benignity.

The idea of equilibrium among all the impersonations; of the male on one side, and the female on the other, with the Supreme Will, which is also the Absolute Reason, above each two, holding the balance, is, according to the Kabalah, the foundation of all religions and all sciences, the primary and immutable idea of things. The Sephiroth are a triple triangle and a circle, the idea of the Ternary explained by the balance and multiplied by itself in the domain of the Ideal; then the realization of this Idea in forms.

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Chart of the Sephiroth

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Unity can only be manifested by the Binary. Unity itself and the idea of Unity are already two.

The human unity is made complete by the right and left. The primitive man was of both sexes.

The Divinity, one in its essence, has two essential conditions as fundamental bases of its existence – Necessity and Liberty.

The laws of the Supreme Reason necessitate and regulate liberty in God, Who is necessarily reasonable and wise.

Knowledge supposes the binary. An object known is indispensable to the being that knows.

The binary is the generator of Society and the law. It is also the number of the gnosis, a word adopted in lieu of Science, and expressing only the idea of cognizance by intuition. It is Unity, multiplying itself by itself to create; and therefore it is that the Sacred Symbols make Eve issue from the very chest of Adam.

Adam is the human Tetragram, which is summed up in the mysterious Yōd of the Kabalah, image of the Kabalistic Phallus. Add to this Yōd [י] the ternary name of Eve, and you form the name of Jehova, the Divine Tetragram, the transcendent Kabalistic and magical word:


Thus it is that Unity, complete in the fecundity of the Ternary, forms, with it, the Quaternary, which is the key of all numbers, movements, and forms.

The Square, turning upon itself, produces the circle equal to itself, and the circular movement of four equal angles turning around one point, is the quadrature of the circle.

The Binary serves as a measure for Unity; and the relation of equality between the Above and the Below, forms with them the Ternary.

To us, Creation is Mechanism: to the Ancients it was Generation. The world-producing egg figures in all cosmogonies; and modern science has discovered that all animal production is oviparous. From this idea of generation came the reverence everywhere paid the image of generative power, which formed the Stauros of the Gnostics, and the philosophical Cross of the Masons.

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Aleph is the man; Beth is the woman. One is the Principle; two is the Word. A∴ is the Active; B∴ is the Passive. Unity is Boaz, and the Binary is Jachin.

The two columns, Boaz and Jachin, explain in the Kabalah all the mysteries of natural, political, and religious antagonism.

Woman is man's creation; and universal creation is the female of the First Principle. When the Principle of Existence made Himself Creator, He produced by emanation an ideal Yōd; and to make room for it in the plenitude of the uncreated Light, He had to hollow out a pit of shadow, equal to the dimension determined by His creative desire; and attributed by Him to the ideal Yōd of radiating Light.

The nature of the Active Principle is to diffuse: of the Passive Principle, to collect and make fruitful.

Creation is the habitation of the Creator-Word. To create, the Generative Power and Productive Capacity must unite, the Binary become Unity again by the conjunction. The WORD is the First-BEGOTTEN, not the first created Son of God.

SANCTA SANCTIS, we repeat again; the Holy things to the Holy, and to him who is so, the mysteries of the Kabalah will be holy. Seek and ye shall find, say the Scriptures: knock and it shall be opened unto you. If you desire to find and to gain admission to the Sanctuary, we have said enough to show you the way. If you do not, it is useless for us to say more, as it has been useless to say so much.

The Hermetic philosophers also drew their doctrines from the Kabalah; and more particularly from the Treatise Beth Alohim or Domus Dei, known as thePneumatica Kabalistica, of Rabbi Abraham Cohen Irira, and the Treatise De Revolutionibus Animarum of Rabbi Jitz-chak Lorja.

This philosophy was concealed by the Alchemists under their Symbols, and in the jargon of a rude Chemistry, – a jargon incomprehensible and absurd except to the Initiates; but the key to which is within your reach; and the philosophy, it may be, worth studying. The labors of the human intellect are always interesting and instructive.

To be always rich, always young, and never to die: such has been in all times the dream of the Alchemists.

To change into gold, lead, mercury, and all the other metals; to possess the universal medicine and elixir of life; such is the problem to be resolved, in order to accomplish this desire and realize this dream.

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Like all the Mysteries of Magism, the Secrets of "the Great Work" have a threefold signification: they are religious, philosophical, and natural.

The philosophal gold, in religion, is the Absolute and Supreme Reason: in philosophy, it is the Truth; in visible nature, the Sun; in the subterranean and mineral world, the most perfect and pure gold.

It is for this that the pursuit of the Great Work is called the Search for the Absolute; and the work itself, the work of the Sun.

All the masters of the Science admit that it is impossible to attain the material results, unless there are found in the two higher Degrees all the analogies of the universal medicine and of the philosophal stone.

Then, they say, the work is simple, easy, and inexpensive; otherwise, it consumes fruitlessly the fortune and lives of the seekers.

The universal medicine for the Soul is the Supreme Reason and Absolute Justice; for the mind, mathematical and practical Truth; for the body, the Quintessence, a combination of light and gold.

The prima materia of the Great Work, in the Superior World, is enthusiasm and activity; in the intermediate world, intelligence and industry; in the lower world, labor: and, in Science, it is the Sulphur, Mercury, and Salt, which by turns volatilized and fixed, compose the AZOTH of the Sages.

The Sulphur corresponds with the elementary form of the Fire; Mercury with the Air and Water; and Salt with the Earth.

The Great Work is, above all things, the creation of man by himself; that is to say, the fall and entire conquest which he effects of his faculties and his future. It is, above all, the perfect emancipation of his will, which assures him the universal empire of Azoth, and the domain of magnetism, that is, complete power over the universal Magical agent.

This Magical agent, which the Ancient Hermetic philosophers disguised under the name of "Prima Materia," determines the forms of the modifiable Substance; and the Alchemists said that by means of it they could attain the transmutation of metals and the universal medicine.

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There are two Hermetic operations, one spiritual, the other material, dependent the one on the other.

The whole Hermetic Science is contained in the dogma of Hermes, engraven originally, it is said, on a tablet of emerald. Its sentences that relate to operating the Great Work are as follows:

"Thou shalt separate the earth from the fire, the subtile from the gross, gently, with much industry.

"It ascends from earth to Heaven, and again descends to earth, and receives the force of things above and below.

"Thou shalt by this means possess the glory of the whole world, and therefore all obscurity shall flee away from thee.

"This is the potent force of all force, for it will overcome everything subtile, and penetrate everything solid.

"So the world was created."

All the Masters in Alchemy who have written of the Great Work, have employed symbolic and figurative expressions; being constrained to do so, as well to repel the profane from a work that would be dangerous for them, as to be well understood by Adepts, in revealing to them the whole world of analogies governed by the single and sovereign dogma of Hermes.

So, in their language, gold and silver are the King and Queen, or the Sun and Moon; Sulphur, the flying Eagle; Mercury, the Man-woman, winged, bearded, mounted on a cube, and crowned with flames; Matter or Salt, the winged Dragon; the Metals in ebullition, Lions of different colors; and, finally, the entire work has for its symbols the Pelican and the Phœnix.

The Hermetic Art is, therefore, at the same time a religion, a philosophy, and a natural science. As a religion, it is that of the Ancient Magi and the Initiates of all ages; as a philosophy, we may find its principles in the school of Alexandria and the theories of Pythagoras; as a science, we must inquire for its processes of Paracelsus, Nicholas Flamel, and Raymond Lulle.

The Science is a real one only for those who admit and understand the philosophy and the religion; and its process will succeed only for the Adept who has attained the sovereignty of will, and so become the King of the elementary world: for the grand agent of the operation of the Sun, is that force described in the Symbol of Hermes, of the table of emerald; it is the universal magical power; the spiritual, fiery, motive power; it is the Od, according to the Hebrews, and the Astral light, according to others.

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Therein is the secret fire, living and philosophical, of which all the Hermetic philosophers speak with the most mysterious re-serve: the Universal Seed, the secret whereof they kept, and which they represented only under the figure of the Caduceus of Hermes.

This is the grand Hermetic arcanum. What the Adepts call dead matter are bodies as found in nature; living matters are substances assimilated and magnetized by the science and will of the operator.

So that the Great Work is more than a chemical operation; it is a real creation of the human word initiated into the power of the Word of God.

The creation of gold in the Great Work is effected by transmutation and multiplication.

Raymond Lulle says, that to make gold, one must have gold and mercury; and to make silver, silver and mercury. And he adds: "I mean by mercury, that mineral spirit so fine and pure that it gilds even the seed of gold, and silvers that of silver." He meant by this, either electricity, or Od, the astral light.

The Salt and Sulphur serve in the work only to prepare the mercury, and it is to the mercury especially that we must assimilate, and, as it were, incorporate with it, the magnetic agent. Paracelsus, Lulle, and Flamel alone seem to have perfectly known this mystery.

The Great Work of Hermes is, therefore, an operation essentially magical, and the highest of all, for it supposes the Absolute in Science and in Will. There is light in gold, gold in light, and light in all things.

The disciples of Hermes, before promising their adepts the elixir of long life or the powder of projection, advised them to seek for the Philosophal Stone.

The Ancients adored the Sun, under the form of a black Stone, called Elagabalus, or Heliogabalus. The faithful are promised, in the Apocalypse, a white Stone.

This Stone, says the Masters in Alchemy, is the true Salt of the philosophers, which enters as one-third into the composition of Azoth. But Azoth is, as we know, the name of the grand Hermetic Agent, and the true philosophical Agent: wherefore they represent their Salt under the form of a cubical Stone.

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The Philosophal Stone is the foundation of the Absolute philosophy, the Supreme and unalterable Reason. Before thinking of the Metallic work, we must be firmly fixed on the Absolute principles of Wisdom; we must be in possession of this Reason, which is the touchstone of Truth. A man who is the slave of prejudices will never become the King of Nature and the Master of transmutations. The Philosophal Stone, therefore, is necessary above all things. How shall it be found? Hermes tells us, in his "Table of Emerald," we must separate the subtile from the fixed, with great care and extreme attention. So we ought to separate our certainties from our beliefs, and make perfectly distinct the respective domains of science and faith; and to comprehend that we do not know the things we believe, nor believe anything that we come to know; and that thus the essence of the things of Faith are the unknown and indefinite, while it is precisely the contrary with the things of Science. Whence we shall conclude, that Science rests on reason and experience, and Faith has for its bases sentiment and reason.

The Sun and Moon of the Alchemists concur in perfecting and giving stability to the Philosophal Stone. They correspond to the two columns of the Temple, Jachin and Boaz. The Sun is the hieroglyphical sign of Truth, because it is the source of Light; and the rough Stone is the symbol of Stability. Hence the Medieval Alchemists indicated the Philosophal Stone as the first means of making the philosophical gold, that is to say, of transforming all the vital powers figured by the six metals into Sun, that is, into Truth and Light; which is the first and indispensable operation of the Great Work, which leads to the secondary adaptation, and enables the creators of the spiritual and living gold, the possessors of the true philosophical Salt, Mercury, and Sulphur, to discover, by the analogies of Nature, the natural and palpable gold.

To find the Philosophal Stone, is to have discovered the Absolute, as all the Masters say. But the Absolute is that which admits of no errors, is the Fixed from the Volatile, is the Law of the Imagination, is the very necessity of Being, is the immutable Law of Reason and Truth. The Absolute is that which IS.

To find the Absolute in the Infinite, in the Indefinite, and in the Finite, this is the Magnum Opus, the Great Work of the Sages, which Hermes called the Work of the Sun.

To find the immovable bases of true religious Faith, of Philosophical Truth, and of Metallic transmutation, this is the secret of Hermes in its entirety, the Philosophal Stone.

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This stone is one and manifold; it is decomposed by Analysis, and re-compounded by Synthesis. In Analysis, it is a powder, the powder of projection of the Alchemists; before Analysis, and in Synthesis, it is a stone.

The Philosophal Stone, say the Masters, must not be exposed to the atmosphere, nor to the gaze of the Profane; but it must be kept concealed and carefully preserved in the most secret place of the laboratory, and the possessor must always carry on his person the key of the place where it is kept.

He who possesses the Grand Arcanum is a genuine King, and more than a king, for he is inaccessible to all fear and all empty hopes. In all maladies of soul and body, a single particle from the precious stone, a single grain of the divine powder, is more than sufficient to cure him. "Let him hear, who hath ears to hear!" the Master said.

The Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury are but the accessorial elements and passive instruments of the Great Work. All depends, as we have said, on the internal Magnet of Paracelsus. The entire work consists in projection: and the projection is perfectly accomplished by the effective and realizable understanding of a single word.

There is but a single important operation in the work; this consists in Sublimation, which is nothing else, according to Geber than the elevation of dry matter, by means of fire, with adhesion to its proper vessel.

He who desires to attain to the understanding of the Grand Word and the possession of the Great Secret, ought carefully to read the Hermetic philosophers, and will undoubtedly attain initiation, as others have done; but he must take, for the key of their allegories, the single dogma of Hermes, contained in his table of Emerald, and follow, to class his acquisitions of knowledge and direct the operation, the order indicated in the Kabalistic alphabet of the Tarot.

Raymond Lulle has said that, to make gold, we must first have gold. Nothing is made out of nothing; we do not absolutely create wealth; we increase and multiply it. Let aspirants to science well understand, then, that neither the juggler's tricks nor miracles are to be asked of the adept. The Hermetic science, like all the real sciences, is mathematically demonstrable. Its results, even material, are as rigorous as that of a correct equation.

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The Hermetic Gold is not only a true dogma, a light without Shadow, a Truth without alloy of falsehood; it is also a material gold, real, pure, the most precious that can be found in the mines of the earth.

But the living gold, the living sulphur, or the true fire of the philosophers, is to be sought for in the house of Mercury. This fire is fed by the air: to express its attractive and expansive power, no better comparison can be used than that of the lightning, which is at first only a dry and earthly exhalation, united to the moist vapor, but which, by self-exhalation, takes a fiery nature, acts on the humidity inherent in it, which it attracts to itself and transmutes in its nature; after which it precipitates itself rapidly toward the earth, whither it is attracted by a fixed nature like unto its own.

These words, in form enigmatic, but clear at bottom, distinctly express what the philosophers mean by their Mercury, fecundated by Sulphur, and which becomes the Master and regenerator of the Salt. It is the AZOTH, the universal magnetic force, the grand magical agent, the Astral light, the light of life, fecundated by the mental force, the intellectual energy, which they compare to sulphur, on account of its affinities with the Divine fire.

As to the Salt, it is Absolute Matter. Whatever is matter contains salt; and all salt [nitre] may be converted into pure gold by the combined action of Sulphur and Mercury, which sometimes act so rapidly, that the transmutation may be effected in an instant, in an hour, without fatigue to the operator, and almost without expense. At other times, and according to the more refractory temper of the atmospheric media, the operation requires several days, several months, and sometimes even several years.

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Two primary laws exist in nature, two essential laws, which produce, by counterbalancing each other, the universal equilibrium of things. These are fixedness and movement, analogous, in philosophy, to Truth and Fiction, and, in Absolute Conception, to Necessity and Liberty, which are the very essence of Deity. The Hermetic philosophers gave the name fixed to everything ponder-able, to everything that tends by its natural to central repose and immobility; they term volatile everything that more naturally and more readily obeys the law of movement; and they form their stone by analysis, that is to say, by the volatilization of the Fixed, and then by synthesis, that is, by fixing the volatile, which they effect by applying to the fixed, which they call their salt, the sulphurated Mercury, or the light of life, directed and made omnipotent by a Sovereign Will. Thus they master entire Nature, and their stone is found wherever there is salt, which is the reason for saying that no substance is foreign to the Great Work, and that even the most despicable and apparently vile matters may be changed into gold, which is true in this sense, that they all contain the original salt-principle, represented in our emblems by the cubical stone.

To know how to extract from all matter the pure salt concealed in it, is to have the Secret of the Stone. Wherefore this is a Saline stone, which the Od or universal astral light decomposes or re-compounds: it is single and manifold; for it may be dissolved like ordinary salt, and incorporated with other substances. Obtained by analysis, we might term it the Universal Sublimate: found by way of synthesis, it is the true panacea of the ancients, for it cures all maladies of soul and body, and has been styled, par-excellence, the medicine of all nature. When one, by absolute initiation, comes to control the forces of the universal agent, he always has this stone at his disposal, for its extraction is then a simple and easy operation, very distinct from the metallic projection or realization. This stone, when in a state of sublimation, must not be exposed to contact with the atmospheric air, which might partially dissolve it and deprive it of its virtue; nor could its emanations be inhaled without danger. The Sage prefers to preserve it in its natural envelopes, assured as he is of extracting it by a single effort of his will, and a single application of the Universal Agent to the envelopes, which the Kabalists call cortices, the shells, bark, or integuments.

Hieroglyphically to express this law of prudence, they gave their Mercury, personified in Egypt as Hermanubis, a dog's head; and to their Sulphur, represented by the Baphomet of the Temple, that goat's head which brought into such disrepute the occult Mediæval associations.

Let us listen for a few moments to the Alchemists themselves, and endeavor to learn the hidden meaning of their mysterious words.

The RITUAL of the Degree of Scottish Elder MASTER, and Knight of Saint Andrew, being the fourth Degree of Ramsay, it is said upon the title-page, or of the Reformed or Rectified Rite of Dresden, has these passages:

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"O how great and glorious is the presence of the Almighty God which gloriously shines from between the Cherubim!

"How adorable and astonishing are the rays of that glorious Light, that sends forth its bright and brilliant beams from the Holy Ark of Alliance and Covenant!

"Let us with the deepest veneration and devotion adore the great Source of Life, that Glorious Spirit who is the Most Merciful and Beneficent Ruler of the Universe and of all the creatures it contains!

"The secret knowledge of the Grand Scottish Master relates to the combination and transmutation of different substances; where-of that you may obtain a clear idea and proper understanding, you are to know that all matter and all material substances are composed of combinations of three several substances, extracted from the four elements, which three substances in combination are, flickr:3505924011 , Salt, flickr:3506733652 , Sulphur, and flickr:3505924055 , Spirit. The first of these produces Solidity, the second Softness, and the third the Spiritual, vaporous particles. These three compound substances work potently together; and therein consists the true process for the transmutation of metals.

"To these three substances allude the three golden basins, in the first of which was engraved the letter M∴, in the second, the letter G∴, and in the third nothing. The first, M∴, is the initial letter of the Hebrew word Malakh, which signifies Salt; and the second, G∴, of the Hebrew word Geparaith, which signifies Sulphur; and as there is no word in Hebrew to express the vaporous and intangible Spirit, there is no letter in the third basin.

"With these three principal substances you may effect the transmutation of metals, which must be done by means of the five points or rules of the Scottish Mastership.

"The first Master's point shows us the Brazen Sea, wherein must always be rain-water; and out of this rain-water the Scottish Masters extract the first substance, which is Salt; which salt must afterward undergo a seven-fold manipulation and purification, before it will be properly prepared. This seven-fold purification is symbolized by the Seven Steps of Solomon's Temple, which symbol is furnished us by the first point or rule of the Scottish Masters.

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"After preparing the first substance, you are to extract the second, Sulphur, out of the purest gold, to which must then be added the purified or celestial Salt. They are to be mixed as the Art directs, and then placed in a vessel in the form of a SHIP, in which it is to remain, as the Ark of Noah was afloat, one hundred and fifty days, being brought to the first damp, warm degree of fire, that it may putrefy and produce the mineral fermentation. This is the second point or rule of the Scottish Masters."

If you reflect, my Brother, that it was impossible for any one to imagine that either common salt or nitre could be extracted from rain-water, or sulphur from pure gold, you will no doubt suspect that some secret meaning was concealed in these words.

The Kabalah considers the immaterial part of man as threefold, consisting of NEPHESCH, RUACH, and NESCHAMAH, Psyche, Spiritus, and Mens, or Soul,Spirit, and Intellect. There are Seven Holy Palaces, Seven Heavens and Seven Thrones; and Souls are purified by ascending through Seven Spheres. A Ship, in Hebrew, is Ani; and the same word means I, Me, or Myself.

The RITUAL continues:

"Multiplying the substance thus obtained, is the third operation, which is done by adding to them the animate, volatile Spirit; which is done by means of the water of the Celestial Salt, as well as by the Salt, which must daily be added to it very carefully, and strictly observing to put neither too much nor too little; inasmuch as, if you add too much, you will destroy that growing and multiplying substance; and if too little, it will be self-consumed and destroyed, and shrink away, not having sufficient substantiality for its preservation. This third point or rule of the Scottish Masters gives us the emblem of the building of the Tower of Babel, used by our Scottish Masters, because by irregularity and want of due proportion and harmony that work was stopped; and the workmen could proceed no further.

"Next comes the fourth operation, represented by the Cubical Stone, whose faces and angles are all equal. As soon as the work is brought to the necessary point of multiplication, it is to be submitted to the third Degree of Fire, wherein it will receive the due proportion of the strength and substance of the metallic particles of the Cubical Stone; and this is the fourth point or rule of the Scottish Masters.

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"Finally, we come to the fifth and last operation, indicated to us by the Flaming Star. After the work has become a duly-proportioned substance, it is to be subjected to the fourth and strongest Degree of fire, wherein it must remain three times twenty-seven hours; until it is thoroughly glowing, by which means it becomes a bright and shining tincture, wherewith the lighter metals may be changed, by the use of one part to a thousand of the metal. Wherefore this Flaming Star shows us the fifth and last point of the Scottish Masters.

"You should pass practically through the five points or rules of the Master, and by the use of one part to a thousand, trans-mute and ennoble metals. You may then in reality say that your age is a thousand years."

In the oration of the Degree, the following hints are given as to its true meaning:

"The three divisions of the Temple, the Outer Court, Sanctuary, and Holy of Holies, signify the three Principles of our Holy Order, which direct to the knowledge of morality, and teach those most practical virtues that ought to be practised by mankind. Therefore the Seven Steps which lead up to the Outer Court of the Temple, are the emblem of the Seven-fold Light which we need to possess, before we can arrive at the height of knowledge, in which consist the ultimate limits of our order.

"In the Brazen Sea we are symbolically to purify ourselves from all pollutions, all faults and wrongful actions, as well those committed through error of judgment and mistaken opinion, as those intentionally done; inasmuch as they equally prevent us from arriving at the knowledge of True Wisdom. We must thoroughly cleanse and purify our hearts to their inmost recesses, before we can of right contemplate that Flaming Star, which is the emblem of the Divine and Glorious Shekinah, or presence of God; before we may dare approach the Throne of Supreme Wisdom."

In the Degree of The True Mason [Le Vrai Maçon], styled in the title-page of its Ritual the 23d Degree of Masonry, or the 12th of the 5th class, the Tracing-board displays a luminous Triangle, with a great Yōd in the centre.

"The Triangle," says the Ritual, "represents one God in three Persons; and the great Yōd is the initial letter of the last word.

"The Dark Circle represents the Chaos, which in the beginning God created.

"The Cross within the Circle, the Light by means whereof He developed the Chaos.

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"The Square, the four Elements into which it was resolved.

"The Triangle, again, the three Principles [Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury], which the intermingling of the elements produced.

"God creates; Nature produces; Art multiplies. God created Chaos; Nature produced it; God, Nature, and Art, have perfected it.

"The Altar of Perfumes indicates the Fire that is to be applied to Nature. The two towers are the two furnaces, moist and dry, in which it is to be worked. The bowl is the mould of oak that is to inclose the philosophal egg.

"The two figures surmounted by a Cross are the two vases, Nature and Art, in which is to be consummated the double marriage of the white woman with the red Servitor, from which marriage will spring a most Potent King.

"Chaos means universal matter, formless, but susceptible of all forms. Form is the Light inclosed in the seeds of all species; and its home is in the Universal Spirit.

"To work on universal matter, use the internal and external fire: the four elements result, the Principia Principiorum and Inmediata; Fire, Air, Water, Earth. There are four qualities of these elements – the warm and dry, the cold and moist. Two appertain to each element: The dry and cold, to the Earth; the cold and moist, to Water; the moist and warm, to the Air; and the warm and dry, to Fire: whereby the Fire connects with the Earth; all the elements, as Hermes said, moving in circles.

"From the mixture of the four Elements and of their four qualities, result the three Principles, – Mercury, Sulphur, and Salt. These are the philosophical, not the vulgar.

"The philosophical Mercury is a Water and SPIRIT, which dissolves and sublimates the Sun; the philosophical Sulphur, a fire and a SOUL, which mollifies and colors it; the philosophical Salt, an Earth and a BODY, which coagulates and fixes it; and the whole is done in the bosom of the Air.

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"From these three-Principles result the four Elements duplicated, or the Grand Elements, Mercury, Sulphur, Salt, and Glass; two of which are volatile, – the Water [Mercury] and the Air [Sulphur], which is oil; for all substances liquid in their nature avoid fire, which takes from the one [water] and burns the other [oil]; but the other two are dry and solid, to wit, the Salt, wherein Fire is contained, and the pure Earth, which is the Glass; on both of which the Fire has no other action than to melt and refine them, unless one makes use of the liquid alkali; for, just as each element consists of two qualities, so these great duplicated Elements partake, each of two of the simple elements, or, more properly speaking, of all the four, according to the greater or less degree of each, – the Mercury partaking more of the Water, to which it is assigned; the Oil or Sulphur, more of the Air; the Salt, of the Fire; and the Glass, of the Earth; which is found, pure and clear, in the centre of all the elementary composites, and is the last to disengage itself from the others.

"The four Elements and three Principles reside in all the Compounds, Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral; but more potently in some than in others.

"The Fire gives them Movement; the Air, Sensation; the Water, Nutriment; and the Earth, Subsistence.

"The four duplicated Elements engender THE STONE, if one is careful enough to supply them with the proper quantity of fire, and to combine them according to their natural weight. Ten parts of Air make one of Water; ten of Water, one of Earth; and ten of Earth, one of Fire; the whole by the Active Symbol of the one, and the Passive Symbol of the other, whereby the conversion of the Elements is effected."

The Allusion of the Ritual, here, is obviously to the four Worlds of the Kabalah. The ten Sephiroth of the world Briah proceed from Malakoth, the last of the ten Emanations of the world Aziluth; the ten Sephiroth of the world Yezirah, from Malakoth of Brian; and the ten of the world Asiah, from Malakoth of Yezirah. The Pass-word of the Degree is given as Metralon, which is a corruption of METATRON, the Cherub, who and Sandalphon are in the Kabalah the Chief of the Angels. The Active and Passive Symbols are the Male and Female.

The Ritual continues:

"It is thereby evident that, in the Great Work, we must employ ten parts of philosophical Mercury to one of Sun or Moon.

"This is attained by Solution and Coagulation. These words mean that we must dissolve the body and coagulate the spirit; which operations are effected by the moist and dry bath.

"Of colors, black is the Earth; white, the Water; blue, the Air; and red, the Fire; wherein also are involved very great secrets and mysteries.

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"The apparatus employed in 'The Great Work' consists of the Moist bath, the Dry bath, the Vases of Nature and Art, the bowl of oak, lutum sapientiæ, the Seal of Hermes, the tube, the physical lamp, and the iron rod.

"The work is perfected in seventeen philosophical months, according to the mixture of ingredients. The benefits reaped from it are of two kinds – one affecting the soul, and the other the body. The former consist in knowing God, Nature, and ourself; and those to the body are wealth and health.

"The Initiate traverses Heaven and Earth. Heaven is the World manifest to the Intelligence, subdivided into Paradise and Hell; Earth is the World manifest to the Senses, also subdivided into the Celestial and that of the Elements.

"There are Sciences specially connected with each of these. The one is ordinary and common; the other, mystic and secret. The World cognizable by the Intellect has the Hermetic Theology and the Kabalah; the Celestial Astrology; and that of the Elements, Chemistry, which by its decompositions and separations, effected by fire, reveals all the most hidden secrets of Nature, in the three kinds of Compound Substances. This last science is styled 'Hermetic,' or 'The operating of the Great Work.'"

The Ritual of the Degree of Kabalistic and Hermetic Rose ✠, has these passages:

"The true Philosophy, known and practised by Solomon, is the basis on which Masonry is founded.

"Our Ancient Masons have concealed from us the most important point of this Divine Art, under hieroglyphical characters, which are but enigmas and parables, to all the Senseless, the Wicked, and the Ambitious.

"He will be supremely fortunate, who shall, by arduous labor, discover this sacred place of deposite, wherein all naked the sublime Truth is hidden; for he may be assured that he has found the True Light, the True Felicity, the True Heavenly Good. Then may it truly be said that he is one of the True Elect; for it is the only real and most Sublime Science of all those to which a mortal can aspire: his days will be prolonged, and his soul freed of all vices and corruption; into which" (it is added, to mislead, as if from fear too much would be disclosed), "the human race is often led by indigence."

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As the symbolism of the Hall and the language of the ritual mutually explain each other, it should be noted here, that in this Degree the columns of the hall, 12 in number, are white variegated with black and red. The hangings are black, and over that crimson.

Over the throne is a great Eagle, in gold, on a black ground. In the centre of the Canopy the Blazing Star in gold, with the letter Yōd in its centre. On the right and left of the throne are the Sun in gold and the Moon in silver. The throne is ascended to by three Steps. The hall and ante-room are each lighted by ten lights, and a single one at the entrance. The colors, black, white, and crimson appear in the clothing; and the Key and Balance are among the symbols.

The duty of the Second Grand Prior, says the Ritual, is "to see if the Chapter is hermetically sealed; whether the materials are ready, and the elements; whether the Black gives place to the White, and the White to the Red."

"Be laborious," it says, "like the Star, and procure the light of the Sages, and hide yourself from the Stupid Profane and the Ambitious, and be like the Owl, which sees only by night, and hides itself from treacherous curiosity."

"The Sun, on entering each of his houses, should be received there by the four elements, which you must be careful to invite to accompany you, that they may aid you in your undertaking; for without them the House would be melancholy: wherefore you will give him to feast upon the four elements.

"When he shall have visited his twelve houses, and seen you attentive there to receive him, you will become one of his chiefest favorites, and he will allow you to share all his gifts. Matter will then no longer have power over you; you will, so to say, be no longer a dweller on the earth; but after certain periods you will give back to it a body which is its own, to take in its stead one altogether Spiritual. Matter is then deemed to be dead to the world.

"Therefore it must be re-vivified, and made to be born again from its ashes, which you will effect by virtue of the vegetation of the Tree of Life, represented to us by the branch of acacia. Whoever shall learn to comprehend and execute this great work, will know great things, say the Sages of the work; but whenever you depart from the centre of the Square and the Compass you will no longer be able to work with success.

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"Another Jewel is necessary for you, and in certain undertakings cannot be dispensed with. It is what is termed the Kabalistic pantacle … This carries with it the power of commanding the spirits of the elements. It is necessary for you to know how to use it, and that you will learn by perseverance if you are a lover of the science of our predecessors the Sages.

"A great Black Eagle, the King of Birds. He alone it is that can fire the Sun, material in its nature, that has no form, and yet by its form develops color. The black is a complete harbinger of the work: it changes color and assumes a natural form, out whereof will emerge a brilliant Sun.

"The birth of the Sun is always announced by its Star, represented by the Blazing Star, which you will know by its fiery color; and it is followed in its course by the silvery lustre of the Moon.

"A rough Ashlar is the shapeless stone which is to be prepared in order to commence the philosophical work; and to be developed, in order to change its form from triangular to cubic, after the separation from it of its Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury, by the aid of the Square, Level, Plumb, and Balance, and all the other Masonic implements which we use symbolically.

"Here me put them to philosophical use, to constitute a well-proportioned edifice, through which you are to make pass the crude material, analogous to a candidate commencing his initiation into our Mysteries. When we build we must observe all the rules and proportions; for otherwise the Spirit of Life cannot lodge therein. So you will build the great tower, in which is to burn the fire of the Sages, or, in other words, the fire of Heaven; as also the Sea of the Sages, in which the Sun and Moon are to bathe. That is the basin of Purification, in which will be the water of Celestial Grace, water that doth not soil the hands, but purifies all leprous bodies.

"Let us labor to instruct our Brother, to the end that by his toils he may succeed in discovering the principle of life contained in the profundity of matter, and known by the name of Alkahest.

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"The most potent of the names of Deity is ADONAI. Its power is to put the Universe in movement; and the Knights who shall be fortunate enough to possess it, with weight and measure, shall have at their disposition all the potences that inhabit it, the Elements, and the cognizance of all the virtues and sciences that man is capable of knowing. By its power they would succeed in discovering the primary metal of the Sun, which holds within itself the Principle of the germ, and wherewith we can put in alliance and six other metals, each of which contains the principles and primitive seed of the grand philosophical work.

"The six other metals are Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Luna; vulgarly known as Lead, Tin, Iron, Copper, Quicksilver, and Silver. Gold is not included; because it is not in its nature a metal. It is all Spirit and incorruptible; wherefore it is the emblem of the Sun, which presides over the Light.

"The vivifying Spirit, called Alkahest, has in itself the generative virtue of producing the triangular Cubical Stone, and contains in itself all the virtues to render men happy in this world and in that to come. To arrive at the composition of that Alkahest, we begin by laboring at the science of the union of the four Elements which are to be educed from the three Kingdoms of Nature, Mineral, Vegetable, and Animal; the rule, measure, weight, and equipoise whereof have each their key. We then employ in one work the animals, vegetables, and minerals, each in his season, which make the space of the Houses of the Sun, where they have all the virtues required.

"Something from each of the three Kingdoms of Nature is assigned to each Celestial House, to the end that everything may be done in accordance with sound philosophical rules; and that everything maybe thoroughly purified in its proper time and place in order to be presented at the wedding-table of the Spouse and the six virgins who hold the mystic shovel, without a common fire, but with an elementary fire, that comes primarily by attraction, and by digestion in the philosophical bed lighted by the four elements.

"At the banquet of the Spouses, the viands, being thoroughly, purified, are served in Salt, Sulphur, Spirit, and Oil; a sufficient quantity thereof is taken every month, and therewith is compounded, by means of the Balance of Solomon, the Alkahest, to serve the Spouses, when they are laid on the nuptial bed, there to engender their embryo, producing for the human race immense treasures, that will last as long as the world endures.

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"Few are capable of engaging in this great work. Only the true Free-Masons may of right aspire to it; and even of them, very few are worthy to attain it, because most of them are ignorant of the Clavicules and their contents, and of the Pantacle of Solomon, which teaches how to labor at the great work.

"The weight raised by Solomon with his balance was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; which contains 25 times unity, 2 multiplied by 2; 3 multiplied by 3; 4 multiplied by 4; 5 multiplied by 5, and once 9; these numbers thus involving the squares of 5 and 2, the cube of 2, the square of the square of 2, and the square of 3."

Thus far the Ritual, in the numbers mentioned by it, is an allusion to the 47th problem of Euclid, a symbol of Blue Masonry, entirely out of place there, and its meaning unknown. The base of the right-angled triangle being 3, and the perpendicular 4, the hypothenuse is 5, by the rule that the sum of the squares of the two former equals the square of the latter, – 3×3 being 9; and 4×4, 16; and 9+16 being 25, the square of 5. The triangle contains in its sides the numbers 1, 2, and 3. The Perpendicular is the Male; the Base, the Female; the Hypothenuse, the product of the two.


To fix the volatile, in the Hermetic language, means to materialize the spirit; to volatilize the fixed is to spiritualize matter.

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To separate the subtile from the gross, in the first operation, which is wholly internal, is to free our soul from all prejudice and all vice. This is effected by the use of the philosophical SALT, that is to say, of WISDOM; of MERCURY, that is to say, of personal aptitude and labor; and of SULPHUR, which represents the vital energy, and the ardor of the will. Thus we succeed in changing into spiritual gold such things even as are of least value, and even the foul things of the earth.

It is in this sense we are to understand the parables of the Hermetic philosophers and the prophets of Alchemy; but in their works, as in the Great Work, we must skillfully separate the subtile from the gross, the mystic from the positive, allegory from theory. If you would read them with pleasure and understandingly, you must first understand them allegorically in their entirety and then descend from allegories to realities by way of the correspondences or analogies indicated in the single dogma:

"What is above is like what is below; and what is below is like what is above."

The treatise "Minerva Mundi," attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, contains, under the most poetical and profound allegories, the dogma of the self-creation of beings, or of the law of creation that results from the accord of two forces, these which the Alchemists called the Fixed and the Volatile, and which are, in the Absolute, Necessity and Liberty.

When the Masters in Alchemy say that it needs but little time and expense to accomplish the works of Science. when they affirm, above all, that but a single vessel is necessary, when they speak of the Great and Single furnace, which all can use, which is within the reach of all the world, and which men possess without knowing it, they allude to the philosophical and moral Alchemy. In fact, a strong and determined will can, in a little while, attain complete independence; and we all possess that chemical instrument, the great and single athanor or furnace, which serves to separate the subtile from the gross, and the fixed from the volatile. This instrument, complete as the world, and accurate as the mathematics themselves, is designated by the Sages under the emblem of the Pentagram or Star with five points, the absolute sign of human intelligence.

The end and perfection of the Great Work is expressed, in alchemy, by a triangle surmounted by a cross: and the letter Tau, ת, the last of the Sacred alphabet, has the same meaning.

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The "elementary fire," that comes primarily by attraction, is evidently Electricity or the Electric Force, primarily developed as magnetism, and in which is perhaps the secret of life or the vital force.

Paracelsus, the great Reformer in medicine, discovered magnetism long before Mesmer, and pushed to its last consequences this luminous discovery, or rather this initiation into the magic of the ancients, who understood the grand magical agent better than we do, and did not regard the Astral Light, Azoth, the universal magnetism of the Sages, as an animal and particular fluid, emanating only from certain special beings.

The four Elements, the four symbolic animals, and the re-duplicated Principles correspond with each other, and are thus arranged by the Hermetic Masons:


The Air and Earth represent the Male Principle; and the Fire and Water belong to the Female Principle. To these four forms correspond the four following philosophical ideas.

Spirit: Matter: Movement: Repose.

Alchemy reduces these four things to three:

The Absolute: the Fixed: the Volatile.

Reason: Necessity; Liberty: are the synonyms of these three words.

As all the great Mysteries of God and the Universe are thus hidden in the Ternary, it everywhere appears in Masonry and in the Hermetic Philosophy under its mask of Alchemy. It even appears where Masons do not suspect it; to teach the doctrine of the equilibrium of Contraries, and the resultant Harmony.

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The double triangle of Solomon is explained by Saint John in a remarkable manner: There are, he says, three witnesses in Heaven, – the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and three witnesses on earth, – the breath, water, and blood. He thus agrees with the Masters of the Hermetic Philosophy, who give to their Sulphur the name of Ether, to their Mercury the name of philosophical water, to their Salt that of blood of the dragon, or menstruum of the earth. The blood, or Salt, corresponds by opposition with the Father; the Azothic, or Mercurial water, with the Word, or Logos; and the breath, with the Holy Spirit. But the things of High Symbolism can be well understood only by the true children of Science.

Alchemy has its Symbolic Triad of Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury, – man consisting, according to the Hermetic philosophers, of Body, Soul, and Spirit. The Dove, the Raven, and the Phœnix are striking Symbols of Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, and the Beauty resulting from the equilibrium of the two.

If you would understand the true secrets of Alchemy, you must study the works of the Masters with patience and assiduity. Every word is often an enigma; and to him who reads in haste, the whole will seem absurd. Even when they seem to teach that the Great Work is the purification of the Soul, and so to deal only with morals, they most conceal their meaning, and deceive all but the Initiates.

Yōd [σ or י] is termed in the Kabalah the opifex, workman of the Deity. It is, says the Porta Cælorum, single and primal, like one, which is the first among numbers; and like a point, the first before all bodies. Moved lengthwise, it produces a line, which is Vau, and this moved sidewise produces a superficies, which is Daleth. Thus Vau [ו] becomes Daleth [ד]; for movement tends from right to left; and all communication is from above to below. The plenitude of Yōd, that is, thename of this letter, spelled, is יוד, Y-O-D. Vau [which represents 6] and Daleth [4] are 10; like Yōd, their principle.

Yōd, says the Siphra de Zeniutha, is the Symbol of Wisdom and of the Father.

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The Principle called Father, says the Idra Suta, is comprehended in Yōd, which flows downward from the Holy influence, wherefore Yōd is the most occult of all the letters; for he is the beginning and end of all things. The Supernal Wisdom is Yōd; and all things are included in Yōd, who is therefore called Father of Fathers, or the Generator of the Universal. The Principle of all things is called the House of all things: wherefore Yōd is the beginning and end of all things; as it is written: "Thou halt made all things in Wisdom." For The All is termed Wisdom; and in it The All is contained; and the summary of all things is the Holy Name.

Yōd, says the Siphra de Zeniutha, signifying the Father, approaches the letter He, which is the Mother; and by the combination of these two is denoted that luminous influence wherewith Binah is imbued by the Supernal Wisdom.

In the name יהו, says the same, are included the Father, Mother, and Microprosopos, their issue. He, impregnated by Vau, produced Microprosopos, or Seir Anpin.

Wisdom, Hakemah, is the Principle of all things: it is the Father of Fathers, and in it are the beginning and end of all things. Microprosopos, the second Universal, is the issue of Wisdom, the Father, and Binah, the Mother, and is composed of the six Numerations, Geburah, Gedulah, and Tephareth, Netsach, Hōd, and Yesod; is represented under the form of a man, and said to have at first occupied the place afterward filled by the world Briah [of Creation], but afterward to have been raised to the Aziluthic sphere, and received Wisdom, Intelligence, and Cognition [Daath] from the Supernal Wisdom and Intellectuality.

Vau, in the tri-literal word, denotes these six members of Microprosopos. For this latter is. formed after the fashion of Macroprosopos, but without Kether, the will, which remains in the first prototype or Universal; though invested with a portion of the Divine Intellectual Power and Capacity. The first Universal does not use the first person, and is called in the third person, הוא, HUA, HE: but the second Universal speaks in the first person, using the word אני ANI, I.

The IDRA RABBA, or Synodus Magna, one of the books of the Sohar, says:

The Eldest of the Eldest [the Absolute Deity] is in Microprosopos. All things are one: all was, all is, all will be: there neither will be, nor is, nor has been, mutation.

But He conformed Himself, by the formings, into a form that contains all forms, in a form which comprehends all genera.

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This form is in the likeness of His form; and is not that form but its analogue: wherefore the human form is the form of all above and below, which are included in it: and because it embraces all above and below. The Most Holy so took form, and so Microprosopos was configured. All things are equally one, in each of the two Universals; but in the second His ways are divided, and judgment is on our side, and on the side that looks toward us, also, they differ.

These Secrets are made known only to the reapers in the Holy Field.

The Most Holy Ancient is not called ATHAH, Thou, but Hun, He: but in Microprosopos, where is the beginning of things, He has the name ATHAH, and also AB, Father. From Him is the beginning, and He is called Thou, and is the Father of Fathers. He issues from the Non-Ens; and therefore is beyond cognition.

Wisdom is the Principle of the Universe, and from it thirty-two ways diverge: and in them the law is contained, in twenty-two letters and ten words. Wisdom is the Father of Fathers, and in this Wisdom is found the Beginning and the End: wherefore there is a wisdom in each Universal, one above, the other below.

The Commentary of Rabbi Chajun Vital, on the Siphra de Zeniutha, says: At the beginning of emanation, Microprosopos issued from the Father, and was intermingled with the Mother, under the mysteries of the letter,ה [He], resolved in דו, that is, Daleth and Vau; by which Vau is denoted Microprosopos: because Vau is six, and he is constituted of the six parts that follow Hakemah and Binah. And, according to this conception, the Father is called Father of Fathers, because from Him these Fathers proceed, Benignity, Severity, and Beauty. Microprosopos was then like the letter Vau in the letter He, because He had no head; but when He was now born, three brains were constituted for Him, by the flow of Divine Light from above.

And as the world of restitution [after the vessels of the Sephiroth below Binah had been broken, that from the fragments evil might be created] is instituted after the fashion of the Balance, so also is it formed throughout in the human form. But Malakoth, Regnum, is a complete and separate person, behind Microprosopos, and in conjunction with him, and the two are called man.

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The first world [of Inanity] could not continue and did not subsist, because it had no human conformation nor the system of the Balance, the Sephiroth being points, one below the other. The first Adam [Microprosopos, as distinguished from Macroprosopos, the first Occult Adam] was the beginning, wherein the ten Numerations proceeded forth from potence into act.

Microprosopos is the second garment or interposed medium, with respect to the Elder Most Holy, who is the name Tetragrammaton; and he is called Alohim; because the former is Absolute Commiseration; while in Macroprosopos his lights have the nature of Severities, with respect to the elder Universal; though they are Commiseration, with respect to the lights of Malakoth and the three lower worlds.

All the conformations of Macroprosopos come from the first Adam; who, to interpose a second covering, caused a single spark to issue from the sphere of Severity, of whose five letters is generated the name Alohim. With this issued from the brain a most subtle air, which takes its place on the right hand, while the spark of fire is on the left. Thus the white and red do not intermix, that is, the Air and Fire, which are Mercy and Judgment.

Microprosopos is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, his Severities being the Evil.

REGNUM, to which is given the name of Word of The Lord, superinvests Heaven, as the six members of the Degree Tephareth are called, and these become and are constituted by that superior vestiture. For every conformation and constitution is effected by means of veiling, because occultation here is the same as manifestation, the excess of light being veiled, so that, diminished in intensity and degree, it may be received by those below. Those six members conceived of as contained in Binah, are said to be in the World of Creation; as in Tephareth, in that of Formation; and as in Malakoth, in that of Fabrication.

Before the institution of equilibrium, face was not toward face: Microprosopos and his wife issuing forth back to back, and yet cohering. So above; before the prior Adam was conformed into male and female, and the state of equilibrium established, the Father and Mother were not face to face. For the Father denotes the most perfect Love; and the Mother the most perfect Rigor. And the seven supernal sons who proceeded from her, from Binah, who brought forth seven, were all most perfect rigors, having no connection with a root in the Most Holy Ancient; that is, they were all dead, destroyed, shattered; but they were placed in equilibrium, in the equipoise of the Occult Wisdom, when it was conformed into male and female, Rigor and Love, and they were then restored, and there was given them a root above.

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The Father is Love and Mercy, and with a pure and subtle Aur or Benignity impregnates the Mother, who is Rigor and Severity of Judgments; and the product is the brain of Microprosopos.

It was determined, says the Introduction to the Book Sohar, by the Deity, to create Good and Evil in the world, according to what is said in Isaiah, "who makes the bight and creates the Evil." But the Evil was at first occult, and could not be generated and brought forth, except by the sinning of the First Adam. Wherefore He determined that the numerations first emanated, from Benignity downward, should be destroyed and shattered by the excessive influx of His Light; His intention being to create of them the worlds of Evils. But the first three were to remain and subsist, that among the fragments should be neither Will, Intellectual Power, nor the Capacity of Intellection of the Divinity. The last seven numerations were points, like the first three, each subsisting independently, unsustained by companionship; which was the cause of their dying and being shattered.

There was then no Love between them, but only a two-fold Fear; Wisdom, for example, fearing lest it should ascend again to its Source in Kether; and also lest it should descend into Binah. Hence there was no union between any two, except Hakemah and Binah, and this imperfect, with averted faces. This is the meaning of the saying, that the world was created by Judgment, which is fear. And so that world could not subsist, and the Seven Kings were dethroned, until the attribute of Compassion was adjoined to it, and then restoration took place. Thence came Love and Union, and six of the parts were united into one person; for Love is the attribute of Compassion or Mercy.

Binah produced the Seven Kings, not successively, but all together. The Seventh is Regnum, called a stone, the corner-stone, because on it are builded the palaces of the three lower worlds.

The first six were shattered into fragments; but Regnum was crushed into a formless mass, lest the malignant demons created from the fragments of the others should receive bodies from it, since from it came bodies and vitality [Nephesch].

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From the fragments of the vessels came all Evils; judgments, turbid waters, impurities, the Serpent, and Adam Belial [Baal]. But their internal light re-ascended to Binah, and then flowed down again into the worlds Briah and Yezirah, there to form vestiges of the Seven Numerations. The Sparks of the great Influence of the shattered vases descending into the four spiritual elements, Fire, Air, Water, and Earth, and thence into the inanimate, vegetable, living, and speaking kingdoms, became Souls.

Selecting the suitable from the unsuitable lights, and separating the good from the evil, the Deity first restored the universality of the Seven Kings of the World Aziluth, and afterward the three other Worlds.

And though in them were both good and evil, still this evil did not develop itself in act, since the Severities remained, though mitigated; some portion of them being necessary to prevent the fragments of the integuments from ascending. These were also left, because connection of two is necessary to generation. And this necessity for the existence of Severity is the mystery of the pleasure and warmth of the generative appetite; and thence Love between husband and wife.

If the Deity, says the Introduction, had not created worlds and then destroyed them, there could have been no evil in the world, but all things must have been good. There would have been neither reward nor punishment in the world. There would have been no merit in righteousness, for the Good is known by the evil, nor would there have been fruitfulness or multiplication in the world. If all carnal concupiscence were enchained for three days in the mouth of the great abyss, the egg of one of the days would be wanting to the sick man. In time to come it will be called Laban [לבן – white], because it will be whitened of its impurity, and will return to the realm Israel, and they will pray the Lord to give them the appetite of carnal concupiscence, for the begetting of children.

The intention of God was, when He created the world, that His creatures should recognize His existence. Therefore He created evils, to afflict them withal when they should sin, and Light and Blessing to reward the just. And therefore man necessarily has free-will and election, since Good and Evil are in the World.

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And these kings died, says the Commentary, because the condition of equilibrium did not yet exist, nor was Adam Kadmon formed male and female. They were not in contact with what was alive: nor had any root in Adam Kadmon; nor was Wisdom which outflowed from Him, their root, nor did they connect with it. For all these were pure mercies and most simple Love; but those were rigorous judgments. Whence face looked not toward face; nor the Father toward the Mother, because from her proceeded judgments. Nor Macroprosopos toward Microprosopos. And Regnum, the last numeration, was empty and inane. It has nothing of itself; and, as it were, was nothing, receiving nothing from them. Its need was, to receive Love from the Male; for it is mere rigor and judgment; and the Love and Rigor must temper each other, to produce creation, and its multitudes above and below. For it was made to be inhabited; and when rigorous judgments rule in it, it is inane because its processes cannot be carried on.

Wherefore the Balance must needs be instituted, that there might be a root above, so that judgments might be restored and tempered, and live and not again die. And Seven Conformations descend; and all things become in equilibrium, and the needle of the Balance is the root above.

In the world Yezirah, says the Pneumatica Kabalistica, י de-notes Kether; יה, Hakemah and Binah; and יהו, Gedulah, Geburah, and Tephareth; and thus Vau is Beauty and Harmony. The Man is Hakemah; the Eagle, Binah; the Lion, Gedulah; and the Ox, Geburah. And the mysterious circle is thus formed by the Sohar and all the Kabalists: Michael and the face of the Lion are on the South, and the right hand, with the letter י, Yōd, and Water; Gabriel and the face of the Ox, on the North, and left hand, with the first ה of the Tetragrammaton and Fire; Uriel and the face of the Eagle, on the East and forward, with ו and Air; and Raphael and the face of the Man, on the West, and backward with the last ה, and Earth. In the same order, the four letters represent the four worlds.

Rabbi Schimeon Ben Jochai says that the four animals of the Mysterious Chariot, whose wheels are Netsach and Had, are Gedulah, whose face is the Lion's; Geburah, with that of the Ox; Tephareth, with that of the Eagle; and Malakoth, with that of the Man.

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The Seven lower Sephiroth, says the Æsch Mezareph, will represent Seven Metals; Gedulah and Geburah, Silver and Gold; Tephareth, Iron; Netsach and Hōd, Tin and Copper; Yesod, Lead; and Malakoth will be the metallic Woman and Morn of the Sages, the field wherein are to be sowed the Seeds of the Secret Minerals, to wit, the Water of Gold; but in these such mysteries are concealed as no tongue can utter.

The word אמש, Amas, is composed of the initials of the three Hebrew words that signify Air, Water, and Fire; by which, say the Kabalists, are denoted Benignity, Judicial Rigor, and Mercy or Compassion mediating between them.

Malakoth, says the Apparatus, is called Haikal, Temple or Palace, because it is the Palace of the Degree Tephareth, which is concealed and contained in it, and Haikal denotes the place in which all things are contained.

For the better understanding of the Kabalah, remember that Kether, or the Crown, is treated of as a person, composed of the ten Numerations, and as such termed Arik Anpin, or Macroprosopos:

That Hakemah is a person, and termed Abba, or Father:

That Binah is a person, and termed Mother, Imma:

That Tephareth, including all the Numerations from Khased or Gedulah to Yesod, is a person, called Seir Anpin, or Microprosopos. These Numerations are six in number, and are represented by the interlaced triangle, or the Seal of Solomon.

And Malakoth is a person, and called the wife of Microprosopos. Vau represents the Beauty or Harmony, consisting of the six parts which constitute Seir Anpin.

The wife, Malakoth, is said to be behind the husband, Seir, and to have no other cognition of him. And this is thus explained: That every cognizable object is to be known in two ways: à priori, which is when it is known by means of its cause, or of itself; or, à posteriori when it is known by its effects. The most nearly perfect mode of cognition is, when the intellect knows the thing itself, in itself, and through itself. But if it knows the thing by its similitude or idea, or species separate from it, or by its effects and operations, the cognition is much feebler and more imperfect. And it is thus only that Regnum, the wife of Seir, knows her husband, until face is turned to face, when they unite, and she has the more nearly perfect knowledge. For then the Deity, as limited and manifested in Seir and the Universe are one.

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Vau is Tephareth, considered as the Unity in which are the six members, of which itself is one. Tephareth, Beauty, is the column which supports the world, symbolized by the column of the junior Warden in the Blue Lodges. The world was first created by Judgment: and as it could not so subsist, Mercy was conjoined with Judgment, and the Divine Mercies sustain the Universe.

God, says the Idra Suta, formed all things in the form of male and female, since otherwise the continuance of things was impossible. The All-embracing Wisdom, issuing and shining from the Most Holy Ancient, shines not otherwise than as male and female. Wisdom as the Father, Intelligence the Mother, are in equilibrium as male and female, and they are conjoined, and one shines in the other. Then they generate, and are expanded in the Truth. Then the two are the Perfection of all things, when they are coupled; and when the Son is in them, the summary of all things is in one.

These things are intrusted only to the Holy Superiors, who have entered and gone out and known the ways of the Most Holy God, so as not to err in them, to the right hand or to the left: For these things are hidden; and the lofty Holinesses shine in them, as light flows from the splendor of a lamp.

These things are committed only to those who have entered and not withdrawn; for he who has not done so had better never have been born.

All things are comprehended in the letters Vau and He; and all are one system; and these are the letters, תבונת. Tabunah, Intelligence.

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