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A General Look at Alchemy Part 2 / page 2
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Transcendental Alchemy

All things in their natural unregenerated state are considered dead by alchemists. Man in his natural state is in a state of death. Master Jesus voiced this precept when he declared, "let the dead bury the dead." Transcendental Alchemy raises Man from the "State of Nature, to a State of Grace." The process reunites the sadhaka, the disciple, to the Atma, and later to the Monad in full awareness. This is the "unio mystica" sought fervently by mystics of all Ages. When Man unites with the totality of Life, he factually unites himself with God, for Life and God are synonymous.

Unity with "Tao," Lao Tse's mystic term for the Absolute, results in the realization of one's true Identity and Reality. The individual who is united with the Absolute is a Jivanmukta, a freed being--freed from ignorance, maya, and mortality; human consciousness expands and embraces Cosmic Consciousness in this unified state. Figuratively, the Drop returns to the Ocean, and the Spark to the Flame, and Man's essential divine nature shines forth with the splendour of the Sun. This is the destiny of Man--to advance into the Kingdom of God and be all that God wants him to be.

There are various systems of spiritual unfoldment catered to the basically, seven different temperaments of Man, that leads him to his ultimate goal. Transcendental Alchemy is one of these sublime systems. It is essentially yogic in nature. Meditation, concentration, and contemplation are stressed and the work of the previous levels of transmutation are conducive to its successful outcome.

Symbols of Alchemy

Since ancient times symbols have been used to describe something that words were not adequate enough to express. The intellect has its limitations in comprehending spiritual verities. Intuitively, Man feels that the forces of nature are intelligently directed. How and why, his human mind is unable to explain. Cosmic principles, though inadequately described verbally by prophets of God, finds its inculcation upon the human mind expressively through symbols and signs.

Symbols are not restrictive, nor exclusive. Minds interpret symbols according to the level of their mental and spiritual development. The child-mind interprets a symbol in one way, while the transcendental mind would interpret it in another.

Most symbols are taken from Nature; others invented by Man, usually take on the form of combined geometric elements. Examples of the former are: the snake, which symbolizes regeneration; the scarabeaus--immortality; mountains--obstacles, etc. Examples of the latter: the Martinist pentacle--the unity of Man and Omneity; the Egyptian ankh--Life and Immortality; the circle--eternity.

Symbols have a certain usefulness in transforming the mind. Whatever man thinks upon, that he becomes. By meditating on symbols, or images representing power, love, holiness, and compassion, for example, through mental induction man unfolds such qualities within his nature.

Personally developed symbols are sometimes used as media for communicative exchange between the waking consciousness and the subconscious mind. This is effected by ascribing a certain attribute to a, preferably, invented symbol by repetitious thought and contemplation upon it. For example, the waking mind may ascribe to lightning as a symbol the meaning of danger by constant focus and suggestion upon it until it is absorbed by the subconscious mind. At a later date, when real danger is present, an intuitive impression with the lightning symbol would flash through from the subconscious to the waking mind, thus warning the individual. This method is also applicable to enrich and enlarge upon symbolic dream content and to induce the subconscious to utilize the newly absorbed symbols which are non-mystifying to the waking-consciousness.

Alchemy is very rich in symbolism. The Royal Art itself is sometimes represented by the Pelican and the Phoenix bird. The latter was invented by mystics in Alexandria during its heyday; the former, by a group of Knights Templer in the British Isles.

Alchemical symbols of past ages were designed to reveal, as well as to conceal; to stimulate the mind to awaken from its intellectual-complacency. Alchemical mandalas describe processes of transmutation. Truths, laws, and principles, which are pertinent to an aspirant's spiritual unfoldment, are similarly depicted within mandalas. Such truths were obscured by vague language and inexplicable diagrams for protection from persecution, because truths, for some reason, were, and still are, considered heretical by Christian orthodoxy. In accord with this dire situation, alchemical symbols, as an expedient, took on Christian coloration.

Let us examine the following common alchemical symbols:

1) The Hermaphrodite

2) Dragons

3) The Caduceus

The Hermaphrodite

Modern psychology has discovered that the human psyche possesses both masculine and feminine qualities. The male and female polarities are present no matter what our biological gender. One polarity in the human psyche is, however, usually repressed to the background in the Id, the subconsciousness, to the detriment of the psychological equilibrium and stability of the waking consciousness.

There are hierarchies of development and transformation of both male and female qualities evolving within the psyche. The "lowest" rung of the female hierarchy is the "Harlot," later transfiguring into the "Virgin" of the succeeding rung, and on to the High Priestess" and the "Empress" of the higher stages. The masculine side has its transformation from "Barbarian," to "Knight," "Hierophant," and "Emperor."

The Hermaphrodite symbolically represents the ideal anima and animus in symbiotic conjunction; the highest aspect of the male and female qualities in perfect balance and unity within the psyche. This is the state of unity that every man and woman unconsciously seeks in an external partner. The search for wholeness should really take place within. Man's union with Omneity is preceded by man's union with his alter ego within his waking consciousness.

Any individual with such a coordinated psyche functions balancely and creatively in society. An aura of holiness enfolds the person; the world knows the person as a compassionate, wise, and powerful being. He, or she, is the "twice-born."

Esoteric tradition teaches that in a future Root Race individuals will be hermaphrodites. Aside from having an androgynous psyche, man would biologically possess two spinal columns with the cerebra-spinal and autonomic nervous system functioning in a closer relationship. Individuals who are capable of controlling autonomic functions such as the heart beat, is a certain indication of where the biological and physiological aspects of man are evolving.

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