By Francis Mayer
In our esoteric terminology “gold” is a collective name applied to d i v e r s e things which, considered in their generally accepted sense, do not seem to be related at all to each other, as for instance: metallic gold, life-energy, solar and sidereal dynamism, human and divine generative power, mental illumination, even the divine union. However, this seeming divergence enabled the esoteric writers to occult their arcana by presenting them as diverse procedures through which nature or the artist produces gold. Thus it became almost impossible for a layman to penetrate their teaching which, on the other hand, was easily comprehensible to the initiated who was informed that the collective term gold means always a definite manifestation upon a certain sphere of created existence of the divine creative light, the Yehi aor, “Let there be light” of Gen. i; 3. This is identical with the Light of the Logos (John i.), also with the Torah or Law of the Kabbalists, and also fits well into the philosophy of the Vedas, as Subba Rao demonstrated in his “Lectures on the Bhagavad Gita.”
The word “aor” by which Genesis designates the creative light is a revelation by itself. It is closely related to “aur” which means vital fire, for both terms are constructed upon the root AR composed from the letters Aleph, sign of power, and Resh, sign of movement. Fabre d’Olivet considers this root AR to be the principle of the formation of all elements, including the quintessential aether, the first materialization of the creative light. Likewise the Greek “aether” means igneous air, while its Hindu equivalent “akasha” is derived from the creative breath, “svara”. Let us now add the statement of John (I; 4) that the light (phos) of men is the result of the life-energy (zoe) of the Divine Life of the Logos; furthermore, that “aur”, the live fire, is the root of “aurum”, Latin for gold, also of the term ‘aura’, which means the normally insensible fluidic emanation of all things and which always radiates a light visible to sensitives and active even on photographic plates. So, considering all these points, a thinker almost automatically reaches the conclusion that, in all probability, these diversely named concepts of the ancients about the creative light meant but the diverse manifestations of one and the same thing, which again, can not be, in essentials, anything else than the primordial power of Life implanted in the Soul of the World and permanently fecundated by the Supreme Intellect.
When this is accepted for a working hypothesis the inquiry easily proceeds further. In esoteric symbolism the sun and the gold have the same simple but very expressive sign: a circle with a point at its center, meaning a center which develops its circumference. This identity of the two signs is an expression of the ancient concept that gold is but sunlight materialized by condensation. Esoteric philosophy, however, conceives the Sun in diverse degrees of manifestation, the common source of all being the divine Supreme Intellect. From this emanated the Logos, personified as Christos, the Creator and Ruler of our cosmos, whom the Rosicrucian Khunrath (in his Amphitheatrum) depicts as a living Cross, standing in the center of a rose-shaped flaming light and developing around this center the three created worlds. The immense significance, also immense temerity, of this design can be understood only when it is completed with the description of Our Rose given by Dante in the Commedia.
On the other hand the “Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreutzer” depicts this Supreme Sun as our Sophia (originated by the Gnostics) also Eve mother of all creatures, while the Kabbalists consider the second Sephira, Chochmah i.e. Wisdom, i.e. Sophia, as the Second Person of their Trinity. Again: seeming confusion in the names, perfect essential identity of the named.
From this Logos emanated the Central Sun-Moon (see Geh. Figuren), physically the hypothetical constellation around which our solar system revolves, philosophically a Sun-Moon, i.e. Intellect in the Soul of the World, which is, spiritually, the divine nucleus in all stars including our globe, and in each individuum, i.e. the divine particle or spark, in man. This nucleus is the instrument of regeneration, while the visible sun and moon are the instruments of generation of all that is created, of man and things alike. In order to accomplish its purpose, however, this regenerative power of the Central Sun-Moon must be triadic, i.e. intellectual, moral and dynamic in one, and act correspondingly on the three planes of created existence, viz. In the physical and hyperphysical (astral) regions of our globe, in the sidereal or psychic or moral, and in the intelligible or mental (noetic) worlds. Evidently then the condensation of this light on the different planes of existence (or consciousness) produces different kinds of gold, and each kind is a proper object to be sought after by such seekers as are qualifying themselves for its acquisition, by having advanced already to the corresponding degree in the process of their own regeneration.
This means that the individual seeker must have developed a certain sensitiveness for the perception, even for the reception of the Logos-Light which is carried on by universal conveyor, the cosmic aether, which, on this account, is considered to be the universal agent, although it is but the medium in and by which the Logos-Light acts and reproduces itself. Somewhat as a song reproduces itself through the mediation of the atmospheric ether, but only when it passes through a properly constructed and attuned instrument, a good radio. For to the normal senses, even to the unregenerated mind, the Logos-light is imperceptible and does not reach the waking consciousness. But in proportion as the seeker purifies the physical and fluidic bodies as well as the mind a transmutation, an attuning to higher vibrations, sets in and with this a new inner life begins.
The action of the Logos-light is felt at first as an increasing inner vigor, result of the infused new life-energies, and soon the Light itself may be perceived in dream-visions, in somnambulistic trance or in ecstasy, while the developing higher mind and imagination furnish the intellectual elucidation to what was seen. Thus the progressing purification transforms the inner bodies into a more and more sensitive radio, while the well controlled emotions, together with the perfected mental concentration, furnish the proper tuning in for the higher and higher planes of created existence.
In fact a sublimated concept of the radio-mechanism makes comprehensible the claim formerly so mysterious, of the Eastern traditions, that the voice of the Masters is always on the air, together with the assertions of Paracelsus that all our sciences and arts come from the stars, which, to a certain extent, is confined by the common experience that the best ideas come always by inspiration. Even theology asserts that authentic truth comes from inspirations in which the Holy Spirit acts upon and by the human organism.
Inspiration is, however, in-breathing, in-drawing of air, with the difference that in this case the in-drawing is not done by the lungs but by the mind, and what is in-drawn is not the atmospheric air but the aether, the carrier of the divine creative Light which is the divine seed, and which fecundates every matrix, producing in it an offspring according to the nature of the matrix. In the case of inspiration this matrix is the human mind, consequently the product is in accordance with the inmost trend, the orientation, of this mind. This is a highly important yet often disregarded circumstance.
This radical orientation of the mind of the individual seeker reveals itself in the selection of the method by which he or she intends to accomplish regeneration. Our Tradition offers three distinct methods by which regeneration may be accomplished, viz. Alchemy, Magic and Mysticism. The alchemist seeks the so called stone of the philosophers, which is but the creative power by which gold can be produced, either physical gold made by skilled chemistry plus hitherto occulted alchemical procedures, or hyper-physical gold that, in potable form, becomes the elixir of life, i.e. cures diseases and rejuvenates by infusing condensed Light which is, according to John, the fundamental life-energy. The magus seeks thaumaturgic power, i.e. the hyperphysical dynamism of the so called sidereal forces, by which acts can be performed that seem to be miracles to the uninitiated although they are but the effects of the application of natural forces unknown to the multitude even to scientists. Alchemist and magus both work first by the “Light of Nature” while the mystic strives right from the start to acquire the “Light of Grace” which the others hope to receive only at the last stages of their work. The mystic, by diverse methods of ascetic self-discipline, also by prayers and contemplations, first suppresses then totally eliminates the animalistic tendencies of the flesh, while on the other hand develops and constantly practices the higher virtues, until a more or less established communion with the Kingdom, even with the God within is accomplished. In other words: the alchemist seeks the physical or hyperphysical gold of our sphere, the magus the thaumaturgic gold of the sidereal world and the mystic the divine union, the spiritual gold.
Alchemist, magus or mystic, however, all have to start on the physical plane, and the preliminary work each of them has to do is a radical inner purification, an elimination of innate baseness as well as acquired subconscious “complexes” from the psyche, while simultaneously a higher moral standard has to be recognized and applied in practice. In short, the inner and the outer life have to be simultaneously sublimated. For the procedures of such a radical purification transmute the whole organism of the seeker, make it more and more receptive for the Light, while at the same time the hitherto dormant divine seed-atom in man, that which the alchemists call the “seed of gold”, begins to sprout and to act as a magnet that in-draws the aether carried Light-influx. Alchemy, magic and mysticism each have their special procedures for purification, for the in-drawing and for the perusal of the aether-carried energies, but there is no place here to go into the details of these procedures, many of which have been revived and renamed in modern psychoanalysis.
But it has to be emphasized that, unless the inner awakening actually occurs and the sprouting of the divine seed of gold really begins as a natural result of proper practices, no real progress can be made no matter how much theoretical knowledge is gathered. On the other hand if the inner transmuting process is actually started and properly conducted, the real inner light soon begins to dawn, is perceived physically at first as inner auric radiation, even as a healing capacity and, later on, as an intellectual illumination and a realization of true Selfhood.
What is then this true Selfhood? Persona, the Latin word from which our term “personality” is derived, meant originally a mask work by actors in Greek or Latin dramas, a mask expressing the character represented by the actor. The conscious self of a man, the outer personality, is likewise a mask behind which the Reincarnating Self is the real actor. This Self is daimoniac, for according the esoteric concept of the ancients the daimones knew good and evil and could act freely both ways. Likewise the alchemist may produce the healing elixir of life, but also poisons not known to science; magic may be white or black and psychoanalysis has on record cases of ecstasies that are perfect opposites of the ecstasies of saints, so that it now distinguishes divine and diabolical ecstasies. Both of these are rare, but even in the regular practice psychoanalysis recognizes in most men a “moral ego” and an “instinct ego”, just as the Faust of Goethe complains that there are in him two inseparable souls, one of which always trends toward the worldly life while the other strongly strives from the dust towards the planes of ancient ancestors. And Paul feels unhappy because two laws govern him, one of which is the law of God in the mind according to the inner man, the other is the law of sin in the members. By the realization and full recognition of that dual Self and its many potencies man becomes really free in the esoteric and spiritual sense of this word.
This freedom is the characteristic trait, which actually distinguishes the real human being from the potentially human but actually animal man whose acts are predetermined. This freedom of choice between good and evil together with the knowledge of both makes man an actual image of his Creator. The Churches, and for very good reasons, do not teach this although the Bible does, in the mysterious third chapter of Genesis in which the creating God (Y H V H) verifies (by implication in v. 22) the statement the serpent made to Eve. But what is in this double Self, the factor that makes it able to work out in time a communion and, later on even a union, with Y H V H?
The personality is the mask, the Reincarnating Self is the real actor. But the real creator of the drama, the real mover of the actor, is the mind of the author. In our case the author is the spiritual self, the Great Ego, of the individuum, the atom of the Creator. That Ego never took part in the fall of Man, but eternally remains in the Logos in never disturbed bliss, and during involution and evolution overshadows only its creature the Reincarnating Ego (as this is revealed in the motto the Rosicrucians took from the Psalms for a keystone to the Fama Fraternitatis: “Sub umbra alarum tuarum Jehovah”, (underneath the shadow of thy wings Yahweh), and joins the Reincarnating Self temporarily only during the highest ecstasy, but permanently after the man has been perfected and reintegrated.
This final reintegration into the Logos, called also the last judgement, is granted to the regenerated man, not collectively as the Churches teach, but individually as the Rosicrucian doctrine reveals. The long period from the recognition of the Reincarnating Ego to the union with the Great Ego, a period that usually requires repeated reincarnations, covers the whole process of regeneration by which the old Adam, a not individualized and not free being, is transformed into the free-willed and individualized human-divine new Adam. There is, however, in that long process, another phase that needs special consideration.
In the involuting descent of the first Adam, called the “fall”, the potentially androgynous man of paradise, was split into “man” and “woman”, the “aish” and “aishah” of the Hebrew text. In the evolutionary ascension, which is the reverse of the fall, the sexually divided but potentially still androgynous Reincarnating Ego has to become actually androgen, the Eve in him or her (Hevah) of Gen. iii has to become again the woman (aishah) of Gen. ii. In plain words: the seeker, man or woman has to develop the inner will and the spiritual creative imagination, which, joined, are the “helpmate.” By this intellectual helpmate, “aishah” and with the assistance of the Logos-influx (divine communion) does the seeker in time become a fully regenerated individuum, free and sovereign, qualified to reintegrate, i.e. to enter in Yahweh the universal life and work out for eternity its active individual immortality. For this is the highest final reward, the summum bonum.
The restoration of this androgynous state by the development of the inner sovereign will, i.e. spontaneity, also of creative imagination, i.e. the capacity to materialize and endow with life mental images produced by concentration, is the second cardinal point of the whole regenerative process, the first one being the actual recognition of the Reincarnating Self, with the actual sprouting of the seed of gold. Upon the male-female (androgynous) state depends the creative faculty and by it the seeker gains limited control over the force of Life that pervades the cosmos. By this creative faculty is produced at will the esoteric gold, hyperphysical, sidereal or spiritual according the plane upon which it is produced.
The aforesaid limited control of the Life-energy, of the force that produces spontaneous growth (the “blessed viridescence ” of the Kabbalists, the “green lion” of the alchemists), is actually the means by which the seeker, alchemist, magus or mystic, gains right in this incarnation the immediate golden reward of his labors, which is the capacity to live at the same time in two worlds: on this earth and on some higher sphere of existence (consciousness). This is the highest obtainable reward (and therefore called golden) for the individuum still in the flesh, because, although this double life is but alternative for waking consciousness can dwell but upon one plane at a time, the life of both planes interplay constantly.
Thus the continuous higher inspirations into the normal waking consciousness ennoble and enrich the normal daily life with a higher wisdom, with a higher ethical standard and with the health-producing control of the mind over the body: a triple improvement that to a certain extent was often demonstrated scientifically upon somnambulists. On the other hand even the short experiences upon the higher planes prove that what is called death is but a transition, and thereby enhance faith, give solid foundation to stand upon in the daily outer life, save from the annoying worries of uncertainty, and thus make it easier to work for a propitious next incarnation and for the final highest reward, the summum bonum.
All this is a growth and, as every growth, takes time and needs continuous care, which means practice. First the procedures of alchemy or white magic or divine mysticism have to be carried on, and that wholeheartedly, to obtain the desired regeneration; then the gained gold, the spiritual inner freedom limited control over the Life-energy have to be kept steadily growing by enacting the higher ethics in the daily life. For eternal vigilance is the price not only of political but also of spiritual freedom. While in the flesh, even the regenerated elect has to be watchful to keep away the ever tempting evil and has to concentrate all mental, psychic and vital energies to assist that part of the double soul which follows the law of God; which inhabits the unconscious mind according to Paul (the categorical imperative of Kant, the moral ego of the psychoanalists, the guardian angel of the Churches) and which, according to Goethe, forcibly strives from the dust toward the planes of ancient ancestors, which are the reconquered paradise, to be: our home where next to the Tree of Life blooms Our Rose.