Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 1

sphere of accidents.

Thus mingling with the soul of the universe, without purification or any distinction of its light, our vehicle disports herself oftentimes in many mingling forms; as it is with those who dream or make to themselves a fools paradise with the druggists gas; since this, even impure as it is and full of folly, being if like nature with our life, coalesces; and would, if allowed to persist, consume its rationality. And on this account we observe the ancients more particularly warn about the treatment of their Spirit, which, though of a higher birth and instinct (as we may observe in the comparison of mesmerized patients and those under the influence of chloroform or common ether), and capable of so much higher, even as they say of the highest intelligence, yet in proportion may suffer also the most fearful degradation. Accordingly if the will incline downwards, persisting to grovel, or evil agencies intervene, then, as the Sacred Discourse has it, the Spirit grows heavy and sinks into profound Hades. It is necessary that the mind, once seated in this Spirit, should either follow or draw or be drawn by it. Hence, if growing predominant in folly, she should cease to aspire, the whole identity, being submerged together, would be converted to her life. For is she not that very Sphinx of the Labyrinth, the devourer of strangers and all who have not the wit to unriddle her and know themselves? At all events, such is said to be the nature of the Phantastic Spirit before it is mundified, that he who enters so far as to be profoundly conscious in her essence, will be lost in irrational confusion, if he assume not quickly his intellectual energies and solve, that is comprehend, it on its own ground. For, if reason remains passive, this nature at length prevailing, will ravage and devastate and take possession of the whole mind, destroying its active energies and converting them to herself. Thus Iamblicus, speaking of this mundane spirit, says --- it grows upon and fashions all the powers the soul, exciting in opinion the illuminations from the senses, and fixes in that life the impressions which descend from intellect. And Proclus, concerning the same nature, declares that --- it folds itself about the indivisibility of true intellect (which is in its center), conforms itself to all formless species, and becomes perfectly everything from which dianoia and our individual reason consist. And, as it is commonly observed to be a vain labor to infuse doctrine into a perplexed and turbid brain, or for a merely practical unspeculative soul to judge of abstract propositions; just so, no doubt, the best constituted minds would be inadequate to self-inspection on their first entrance into life. For the Spirit understand the affections of the mind, and reflects its image as it is, whether good or evil. But the primary and proper vehicle of the mind, when it is in a wise and purified condition, is attenuated and clear seeing; when however the mind is sensually affected, then this vehicle is dulled and becomes terrene; the instincts are said to be imperfect just in proportion as the perceptive medium is impure, and therefore it needs alternation and solution, as the oracles teach, for the discernment of good and evil, and the proper choice of life. It is therefore that the Alchemists so much declaim against the vulgar Matter as it is at first made known, full of heterogeneous qualities and notions, as a subject fallen from its sphere and defiled. Hence all those preparations, solutions, calcinations, etc. before it becomes to be the Mercury of the Philosophers --- pure, agile, intelligent, living --- as they say, in her own sphere, as a queen upon her throne. Take, says Albertus Mangus, the occult Arcanum, which is our brass, and wash it that it may be pure and clean. The first rule of the work is a perfect solution (15). All which we understand with reference to the universal Mundane Spirit, as it is at first consciously revealed in the recipient life of humanity; which Aristotle, in his Metaphysics, calls passive intellect, because capable of receiving and being converted to all --- the best pr worst inclination, the highest truth or the most delusive imaginings --- of manifesting motives in vital effects, and within certain limits of organizing even and transporting them. And this we take to be the identical agent which is spread abroad in the present day mesmerizing, the photogenic medium, our New Imponderable, for it is the Common Soul; also the subject-matter of the Alchemists aforesaid, when they call it a thing indifferent, abject, and exposed in all hands, moving here below in shadowy manifestation, invisibly and unconsciously converted to every will and various use. It is what the world cares not for, as the adept says, but disesteems it; it hath it in its sight, carries it in its hands, yet is ignorant thereof; for it passeth away with a sudden pace without being known; yet