Excerpt from Seven Hermetic Letters
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And now, my dear reader — our goal! What do you expect from these instructions? Answer this question for yourself, but do it conscientiously.
Do you expect worldly advantages that are easily obtained, which give you priority over your fellow man without making any high demands upon yourself? Do you want to shine through secret abilities which will place others at a disadvantage but into your favor? Do you want to receive valuable goods, but without being prepared to sacrifice for them? Then these letters were not written for you. Leave them be, and pursue your pleasures.
Know that the value that these letters conceal cannot be bought or sold; you have to work for it, and become these valuable things yourself. The path to the grail passes over the dead body of your old “I.” Whosoever would be born again must first learn how to die. Are you prepared? Have you heard this calling? Examine yourself! You are dealing with serious things.
This course of instruction intends nothing less than to make the God-man conscious within you and to make him the Lord of your life! This is not something which can be obtained through thinking and studying. The keenest intellect cannot capture what you must experience in your Innermost as a process of transformation — an experience with all the horror of a new birth. (“Except ye be converted, and become as little children.”)
The higher trinity (the symbol for the higher trinity is a right-angled triangle) should therefore be brought into the lower quadruplicity (symbolized by the quadrangle) for revelation. The higher triplicity should allow the “perishable” mortal partner to participate in its own omniscience, omnipresence and eternity. The higher trinity should transfigure the soul, and become more identical in character and help the soul achieve conscious immortality and the degree of omnipotence of which she is worthy. The richer, the more highly developed the vessel of the spirit is, the greater the might which he is capable of exerting on this basis upon a low, most imperfect form of crystallization, the coarse matter. The intended process of transformation is connected to this fact, of which we spoke earlier.
In the kingdom of the spirit there exists a law: Same can only be understood by same. Every difference is merely a difference in vibration. The coarsest and slowest vibrations of the primary matter which form all things show themselves in the substance of a human being, the physical body. The fluid body is finer than the physical body, yet the higher self is the finest; and subtle beyond all concepts is the vibration of the cosmic consciousness, about which an ancient proverb speaks: “God is a consuming fire.”
In order to become more receptive to the influences of the divine genius, the lower “I” must be systematically upwardly purified and brought to higher vibrations; in short, it must become more refined. Only when the bride is ready will the bridegroom come.
The success of that endeavor depends upon the personal aptitude of the student; it will depend especially on his inner honesty and uprightness (because “many are called, but few are chosen!”). Furthermore, it also depends on his perseverance, because every organic process of development requires a certain time to mature. And, finally, it depends upon the “blessing” and the “love from above.” The genius cannot be forced downward into every vessel; instead, he selects his own place.
The metaphysical kingdoms are not without dangers. Whosoever is not in possession of purity and perfection will not find the entrance to this kingdom. In spite of searching, he will not be admitted.
However, any aspirant can achieve this, no matter what his circumstances; it constitutes a degree of self-mastery and control over one’s own destiny which raises a person above the crowd as a noble champion for life. Certainly this one goal is worth the effort of the noble.
The erring ways of a self-indulgent age begin with mastering life from the wrong end. One wants to live like a lord, a life of luxury wherein all passions are completely satisfied and life is enjoyed to the fullest. One wants to dominate the world — in other words, other human beings — before one has learned to master or control himself. The results are that those “masters” who make fools of themselves are fools in the spirit and, because of inner insurmountable weaknesses, stumble again and again through the course of their lives as soon as they are attacked where they are vulnerable — in their animal souls.
In reality, being a master begins without exception with the mastery of your own person. We are given the microcosm, the “small world”; that we learn from it is our first example, our first assignment. And unless this assignment is satisfactorily solved, we grasp in vain for higher goals.