For the purpose of studying these Little Essays, it will be sufficient if a bare outline of the Cosmic Theory which they imply be given: but it may be added that, the fuller the comprehension of the Tree of Life which the reader brings to them, the clearer will their thought appear, and the more cogent their conclusions. This is the quintessential principle of the Soul, that which makes man at the same time identical with every other spark of Godhead, and different as regards his point-of-view, and the Universe of which it is the centre from all others.
It is a Point, possessing only position; and that position is only definable by reference to co-ordinate exes, to secondary principles, which only pertain to it per accidents , and must be postulated as our conception grows. This is the Creative Impulse or Will of Jechidah, the energy which demands the formulation of the co-ordinate axes aforesaid, so that Jechidah may obtain self-realisation, a formal understanding of what is implicit in its nature, of its possible qualities.
This is the faculty of understanding the Word of Chiah. It is the intelligence or intuition of what Jechidah wishes to discover about itself. These three principles constitute a Trinity; they are one , because they represent the being, and apparatus which will make the manifestation possible, of a God, in manhood. But they are only, so to speak, the mathematical structure of man's nature. One might compare them with the laws of physics as they are before they are discovered.
There are as yet no data by whose examination they may be discerned. A conscious man, according, cannot possibly know anything of these three principles, although they constitute his essence. It is the work of Initiation to journey inwards to them. And it is complete in itself. Beyond it stretches what is called The Abyss.
This doctrine is extremely difficult to explain; but it corresponds more or less to the gap in thought between the Real, which is ideal, and the Unreal, which is actual. In the Abyss all things exist, indeed, at least in posse , but are without any possible meaning; for they lack the substratum of spiritual Reality. They are appearances without Law.
They are thus Insane Delusions. Now the Abyss being thus the great storehouse of Phenomena, it is the source of all impressions. And the Triune Principle has intended a machine for investigating the Universe; and this machine is the fourth Principle of Man.
This may be translated Mind, Spirit, or Intellect: none of these is satisfactory, the connotation varying with every writer. The Ruach is a closely-knitted group of Five Moral and Intellectual principles, concentrated on their core, Tiphareth, the Principle of Harmony, the Human Consciousness and Will of which the four other Sephiroth are so to speak the feelers. But this is not really a principle; it contains in itself the germ of self-contradiction and so of self-destruction.
It is a false principle: for. We are concerned only with the observed facts. This is itself a principle still spiritual, in a sense; the actual body of man os composed of the dust of Matter, temporarily held together by the Principles which inform it, for their own purposes, and ultimately for the supreme purposes of self-realisation of Jechidah. But Nephesch, devised as it is with no other object that the direct traffic with Matter, tends to partake of its incoherence.
Its faculties of perceiving pain and pleasure lure it into paying undue attention to one set of phenomena, into shunning another. Hence, for the Nephesch to do its work as it should, it requires to be dominated by the severest discipline. Nor is the Ruach itself to be trusted in this matter. It has its own tendencies to weakness and injustice. It tries every trick—and it is diabolically clever—to arrange its business with Matter in the sense most convenient to its inertia, without the smallest consideration of its duty to the Supernal Triad, cut off as that is from its comprehension; indeed, unsuspecting as it normally is of its existence.
What then determines Tiphareth, the Human Will, to aspire to comprehend Neschamah, to submit itself to the divine Will of Chiah? Nothing but the realisation, born sooner or later of agonising experience, that its whole relation through Ruach and Nephesch with Matter, i. The senselessness of the whole procedure sickens it.
It begins to seek for some menstruum in which the Universe may become intelligible, useful and enjoyable. In Qabalistic language, it aspires to Neschamah. The awareness of one's misfortune is itself an indication of the remedy. Do we not all assume a perfectly illogical conception of Truth as an entity of "the supra-mundane order, whence a whirling flame and flying Light subsist?
Is it not clear, then, that we do understand each other perfectly, so far as we can understand each other at all, in a sphere such as Zoroaster calls "Intelligible," which "subsisteth beyond Mind' but which we should "seek to grasp with the Flower of Mind"? Must we not then assent to that other Oracle, in which that Magus most sublime asserts:. For the King of all previously placed before the polymorphous World a Type, intellectual, incorruptible, the imprint of whose form is sent forth through the World, by which the Universe shone forth decked with Ideas all-various, of which the foundation is One, One and alone.
From this the others rush forth, distributed and separated through the various bodies of the Universe, and are borne in swarms through its vast abysses, ever whirling forth in illimitable radiation. They are intellectual conceptions from the Paternal Fountain partaking abundantly of the brilliance of Fire in the culmination of unresting Time.
But the primary self-perfect Fountain of the Father poured forth these primogenial Ideas. It is to be remembered that the Oracles of Zoroaster continually proclaim in words of boundless brilliance the doctrine here set forth: these Essays are indeed a species of Commentary thereupon, and I may say that I only came to understand them as perfectly as I now do in the course of this writing. Now the same Truth, which is Light, which is implicit in each spark of the Intelligible; what is it but the Self of Everyman?
It is this that informs his every motion, this that lies closest to his heart and soul, being indeed their mainspring and their dial, the principle of section and of measure. Now Initiation is, by etymology, the journeying inwards ; it is the Voyage of Discovery oh Wonder-World!
And this is Truth that stands upon the prow, eternally alert; this is Truth that sits with one strong hand gripping the helm! Truth is our Path, and Truth is our Goal; ay! Yea, the Life also, Life eternal in Time and boundless in Space; for what is Life but the continual resolution of the antimony of the diverse by the spasm of Love under Will, that is, by the constantly explosive, the orgiastic, perception of Truth, the dissolution of dividuality in one radiant star of Truth that ever revolveth, and goeth, and filleth the Heavens with Light?
I beseech you earnestly, dear Brethren, to grapple manfully as mighty wrestlers with the ideas in these Little Essays: to understand them For thus not only will you develop the spiritual intuition, the very Neschamah of your divine Being, but in the degree of your Concentration of your power to slow down and finally to stop the irritable movements of your ratiocinative machinery to transmute these Essays -- the Prima Materia of your Great Work; passing through the stage of the Black Dragon, in which your rational ideas are wholly destroyed and putrefied, you will succeed in enflaming them in the fierce Furnace of your Creative Wills, until all things burn up together into one blazing mass of living, of relentless Light.