[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

enlightens present, past and future, lays bare the conscience of men and manifests
the inmost recesses of the female heart. The lamp burns with a triple flame, the
mantle is thrice-folded and the staff is divided into three parts.
The number nine is that of divine reflections; it expresses the divine idea in all
its abstract power, but it signifies also extravagance in belief, and hence supersti-
tion and idolatry. For this reason Hermes made it the number of initiation,
because the initiate reigns over superstition and by superstition: he alone can
advance through the darkness, leaning on his staff, enveloped in his mantle and
lighted by his lamp. Reason has been given to all men, but all do not know how to
make use of it: it is a science to be acquired. Liberty is offered to all, but not all
can be free: it is a right that must be earned. Force is for all, but all do not know
how to rest upon it: it is a power that must be won. We attain nothing without
more than one effort. The destiny of man is to be enriched by his own earning and
afterwards to have, like God, the glory and pleasure of dispensing it.
Magic was called formerly the Sacerdotal Art and the Royal Art, because initia-
tion gave empire over souls to the sage and the capacity for ruling wills. Divina-
tion is also one of the privileges of the initiate; now, divination is simply the
knowledge of effects contained in causes and science applied to the facts of the
universal dogma of analogy. Human acts are not written in the Astral Light alone;
their traces are left upon the face, they modify mien and carriage, they change the
tone of the voice. Thus every man bears about him the history of his life, which is
legible for the initiate. Now, the future is ever the consequence of the past, and
unexpected circumstances do not appreciably alter results reasonably calculated.
The destiny of each man can be therefore foretold him. An entire existence may be
judged by a single movement; a single oddity or weakness may be the presage of a
long chain of misfortunes. Caesar was assassinated because he was ashamed of
being bald; Napoleon ended his days at St. Heleua because he admired the poems
of Ossian; Louis Philippe abdicated the throne as he did because he carried an
umbrella. These are paradoxes for the vulgar, who cannot grasp the occult rela-
tions of things, but they are causes for the adept, who understands all and is sur-
44 The Doctrine of Transcendental Magic
prised at nothing.
Initiation is a preservative against the false lights of mysticism; it equips
human reason with its relative value and proportional infallibility, connecting it
with supreme reason by the chain of analogies. Hence the initiate knows no
doubtful hopes, no absurd fears, because he has no irrational beliefs; he is
acquainted with the extent of his power, and he can be bold without danger. For
him, therefore, to dare is to be able. Here, then, is a new interpretation of his
attributes: his lamp represents learning; the mantle which enwraps him, his dis-
cretion; while his staff is the emblem of his strength and boldness. He knows, he
dares and is silent. He knows the secrets of the future, he dares in the present, and
he is silent on the past. He knows the failings of the human heart; he dares make
use of them to achieve his work; and he is silent as to his purposes. He knows the
significance of all symbolisms and of all religions; he dares to practise or abstain
from them without hypocrisy and without impiety; and he is silent upon the one
dogma of supreme initiation. He knows the existence and nature of the Great
Magical Agent; he dares perform the acts and give utterance to the words which
make it subject to human will, and he is silent upon the mysteries of the Great
So may you find him often melancholy, never dejected or despairing; often
poor, never abject or miserable; persecuted often, never disheartened or con-
quered. He remembers the bereavement and murder of Orpheus, the exile and
lonely death of Moses, the martyrdom of the prophets, the tortures of Apollonius,
the Cross of the Saviour. He knows the desolation in which Agrippa died, whose
memory is even now slandered; he knows what labours overcame the great
Paracelsus, and all that Raymond Lully was condemned to undergo that he might
finish by a violent death. He remembers Swedenborg simulating madness and
even losing reason in order to excuse his science; Saint-Martin and his hidden life;
Cagliostro, who perished forsaken in the cells of the Inquisition; Cazotte, who
ascended the scaffold. Inheritor of so many victims, he does not dare the less, but
he understands better the necessity for silence. Let us follow his example; let us
learn diligently; when we know, let us have courage, and let us be silent.
X v K
ALL religions have preserved the remembrance of a primitive book, written in
hieroglyphs by the sages of the earliest epoch of the world. Simplified and vulgar-
ized in later days, its symbols furnished letters to the art of writing, characters to
the Word, and to occult philosophy its mysterious signs and pantacles. This book,
attributed by the Hebrews to Enoch, seventh master of the world after Adam; by
the Egyptians to Hermes Trismegistus; by the Greeks to Cadmus, the mysterious
builder of the Holy City: this book was the symbolical summary of primitive tra-
dition, called subsequently Kabalah or Cabala, meaning reception. The tradition
in question rests altogether on the one dogma of Magic: the visible is for us the
proportional measure of the invisible. Now the ancients, observing that equilib-
rium is the universal law in physics, and is consequent on the apparent opposition
of two forces, argued from physical to metaphysical equilibrium, and maintained
that in God, that is, in the First Living and Active Cause, there must be recog-
nized two properties which are necessary one to another  stability and motion,
necessity and liberty, rational order and volitional autonomy, justice and love,
whence also severity and mercy. And these two attributes were personified, so to
speak, by the kabalistic Jews under the names of GEBURAH and CHESED. Above
GEBURAH and CHESED abides the Supreme Crown, the equilibrating power, prin-
ciple of the world or equilibrated kingdom, which we find mentioned under the
name of MALKUTH in the occult and kabalistic versicle of the Paternoster to which
we have already referred. But GEBURAH and CHESED, maintained in equilibrium
by the Crown above and the KINGDOM below, constitute two principles, which
may be considered either from an abstract point of view or in their realization. In
their abstract or idealized sense, they take the higher names of CHOKMAH, Wis-
dom, and BINAH, Intelligence. Their realization is stability and progress, that is,
eternity and victory  HOD and NETSAH.
Such, according to the Kabalah, is the groundwork of all religions and all sci-
ences  a triple triangle and a circle, the notion of the triad explained by the bal-
ance multiplied by itself in the domains of the ideal, then the realization of this
conception in forms. Now, the ancients attached the first notions of this simple
and impressive theology to the very idea of numbers, and qualified the figure of
the first decade after the following manner:
1. KETHER. -- The Crown, the equilibrating power.
2. CHOKMAH.-Wisdom, equilibrated in its unchangeable order by the initiative
46 The Doctrine of Transcendental Magic
of intelligence.
3. BINAH.-Active Intelligence, equilibrated by Wisdom.
4. CHESED.-Mercy, which is Wisdom in its secondary conception, ever benevo-
lent because it is strong.
5. GEBURAH.-Severity, necessitated by Wisdom itself, and by goodwill. To per-
mit evil is to hinder good.
6. TIPHERETH.-Beauty, the luminous conception of equilibrium in forms, inter-
mediary between the Crown and the Kingdom, mediating principle between Cre-
ator and creation  a sublime conception of poetry and its sovereign priesthood! [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]